Papas Fritas Vs Patatas Fritas – Key Differences Explained

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Fried potatoes are a popular dish for good reason. This savory dish goes well with an impressive range of meals.

Few foods are as versatile as fried potatoes. Not to mention, this fantastic dish is incredibly easy to make.

Papas Fritas vs Patatas Fritas - Key Differences Explained

Interestingly, fried potatoes are also known as “papas fritas” and “patatas fritas”.

What do these terms mean? What is the difference between them? How can you make delicious fried potatoes? Continue reading to find out.

What Are Fried Potatoes?

Potatoes are incredibly versatile. They can be cooked and served in a variety of ways to make some incredibly popular dishes, such as mashed potatoes, french fries, and potato chips.

Fried potatoes are traditionally fried in oil to give them a crispy coating. Meanwhile, they usually have a soft and fluffy texture on the inside.

Fried potatoes pair nicely with a variety of foods, including chicken, sausages, tomato ketchup, and burgers. 

What Are Papas Fritas?

“Papas fritas” is a Spanish term. In English, it translates to “potatoes fries”.

What Are Patatas Fritas?

Likewise, “patatas fritas” is a Spanish phrase that translates to “potato fries”.

Papas Fritas vs Patatas Fritas – Key Differences Explained

Essentially, papas fritas and patatas fritas are the same dish. These are just two different terms used to refer to fried potatoes.

So this raises the question, why are two different phrases used to describe the same dish?

Basically, this is just due to regional differences in the Spanish language. Like most countries, the Spanish language is used differently in various regions of Spain. 

In Spain itself, “patatas” is the more common word used to describe potatoes.

But in other Spanish-speaking countries across the world, “papas” is used more frequently. This could include Mexico, Chile, and Argentina. 

Therefore, if you are wondering what the difference between them is, the answer is that both papas fritas and patatas fritas are valid. Simply use whichever term you prefer! 

Just bear in mind that “patatas fritas” is more widely used in Spain.

Yet, if you order either of these dishes in Spain, most waiters or waitresses will understand what you are referring to. 

How Do You Make Papas/ Patatas Fritas?

If you want to make your own papas or patatas fritas, all you have to do is follow this general guide:

  1. Slice your potatoes into chunks or coins with a sharp knife. You can use pretty much whatever type of potatoes that you fancy.
  2. Pour oil onto a skillet or frying pan. We recommend using vegetable oil or virgin olive oil, as they work particularly well with this dish.
  3. Turn your hob on at medium heat. Wait for the oil to warm up, which should take just one or two minutes.  If the oil begins to bubble, it’s a good idea to turn the heat down a bit.
  4. Carefully add the aforementioned potatoes to the frying pan. Cook the potatoes for roughly 5 minutes, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Larger chunks will take longer to cook. The potatoes will be done once they’ve developed a glorious golden hue. 
  5. Add whatever seasonings you desire. Parsley, garlic powder, and paprika all work brilliantly. Alternatively, you can just top the fried potatoes with salt and pepper if you crave something with a milder flavor.
  6. Serve these Spanish friends potatoes with the meal of your choice. 

Of course, this is merely a brief overview. Luckily, we’ve got more specific recipes to make papas fritas below!

The Best Papas/ Patatas Fritas Recipes

If you are looking for a more specific guide to make this authentic Spanish dish, here are our favorite recipes:

1. Fried Potatoes From SBS

This first recipe is super simple. It requires just 3 ingredients and will be ready in only 15 minutes. Therefore, you won’t have to spend loads of time in the kitchen!

Another benefit of this amazing recipe is that it’s bursting with flavor.

This is thanks to the addition of chopped parsley. This seasoning is the perfect way of finishing these fantastic potatoes.

It provides a peppery taste and a fabulous flash of color.

2. Papas Fritas Baked From Shaw Simple Swaps

If you are looking for a healthy way of cooking this traditional Spanish recipe, this mouth-watering recipe is the perfect solution.

They have been baked to ensure that the potatoes are a little healthier than other papas fritas recipes.

This papas fritas recipe takes a little longer than many of its competitors. But it’s worth it if you want golden Spanish fries that are a little less naughty.

3. Latin American Fries

These papas fritas are a little different from other variations of this traditional dish. This is because they’ve been inspired by Latin America.

The result is a fried potato recipe that’s oozing with tantalizing flavors.

Seasoned with garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, and butter, these potatoes are far from bland.

Moreover, these fried potatoes pair perfectly with dipping sauces, such as BBQ sauce. Alternatively, you can try tomato ketchup. So why not give this recipe a go?

4. Fried Taters By Cookpad

Made with just 3 ingredients, this is a super simple recipe for papas fritas. So if you are looking for a quick and easy midweek meal, these fried taters are a fabulous option.

Another benefit of this dish is that it has a subtle flavor thanks to the use of just salt and pepper. Therefore, it will pair well with lots of different main courses.

Its flavor won’t overpower the taste but instead will complement it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are Patatas Bravas?

Patatas bravas is yet another potato-based dish. “Bravas” is a Spanish expression that’s used to applaud people, such as performers. 

Originating from Spain, patatas bravas is a spicy potato dish. To make this dish, all you have to do is chop white potatoes into smaller chunks.

These potatoes are then fried with oil and coated in a luxurious spicy sauce. So if you love spiced food, you’re going to adore patatas bravas.

Outside of Spain, patatas bravas are regularly served in tapas bars. 

What Do Italians Call Potato Chips?

Potato chips are popular throughout the world. If you’re wondering what potato chips are known as in another European language, namely Italian, these potatoes are commonly known as “patatine”. 

For the singular version, use the phrase “patatina fritta” to refer to just one potato chip. 

Are Fried Potatoes Healthy?

Fried potatoes are hard to resist. Unfortunately, they are not considered very healthy. This is because they are fried in oil.

This cooking method increases the calorie content and the number of trans fats found in foods.

The good news is that potatoes are healthy, as they are rich in vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and vitamin B6.

So while this may not be the healthiest way of preparing potatoes, this side dish is fine to consume once or twice a week. 

Final Thoughts

So there you have it!

While it may be a little confusing to use two different terms to describe the same dish, the good news is that you can use both “papas fritas” and “patatas fritas” to order fried potatoes. 

Therefore, why not give fried potatoes a try? This superb side dish is super simple to make and will enhance a range of different meals.