At Restaurante Cantueso we are always seeking to offer you new or different Spanish delacacies either “para picar” or on the a la carte menu. This summer is no exception.
Potato Bombs (Patas de Bomba) is the latest and as we are already getting favourable feedback and questions about the dish’s origins we thought we might explain. It is currently the signature dish in many of Barcelona’s tapas bars and was created by an enterprising bar owner (Maria Pla) in the late 1920s. It turns the humble croquette into a bomb shaped potato ball which, whilst maybe not too explosive, has a deliciously piquante filling.
During the ’20s and ’30s before the civil war had begun there were many anarchists operating throughout Catalonia, particularly in Barcelona, where they had copied the techniques of the Italian underground movement to wreak havoc against the nationalist authorities. During this period, because of these anarchists, Barcelona became known as la rosa del fuego, the rose of fire. And the weapon of choice in this urban warfare was a steel ball, filled with explosives, and having a string fuse. This became the inspiration for Maria Pla and her culinary creation found immediate acclaim. No doubt when George Orwell sat writing his famous works on the bloody wars surrounding him in Barcelona he would have also been familiar with this less damaging bomb. Not only is it now a reminder of those troubled times but also a credit to the gastronomic resilience of Catalonia’s tapas culture.
We hope you will come and try this latest dish and maybe some of our other new additions.