Churros is a traditional sweet Spanish dessert or snack made from fried dough, often referred to as a Spanish doughnut.
Centuries ago the first churros were made by Spanish shepherds high up in the mountains, as fresh baked goods were impossible to come by. Travellers living in the hills created a churros paste, which they fried in a pan over an open fire, and it soon became their daily staple food.
What’s in it?
Today, churros paste is commonly made from butter, flour, sugar, eggs, cinnamon sugar and water that is blended together to make a delicious cake-like dough. It’s then fried in a continuous spiral until the churros is golden and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, and cut into portions. The churros is pumped through a ‘churrera’, a giant funnel with a star-shaped nozzle, which gives the churros is ridged shape.
How to eat it
In Spain, churros is mainly eaten as a breakfast snack (especially in Madrid) and sprinkled with sugar. Churros, like many foods, hasn’t just remained in its country of origin and is now a popular snack in France, Portugal, Morocco, Australia, the USA and Spanish speaking Caribbean islands. In Cuba, churros is often filled with fruit such as guava and in Brazil it is drizzled with chocolate and dulce de leche. In Uruguay, churros is eaten as a savoury snack too, often filled with melted cheese.
Where to find it
Today, churros is often sold by street vendors, where they will be freshly fried on a street stand and sold hot for just 1-2€ a portion. In authentic Spanish cafes, they are often enjoyed dipped into a tasty cafe con leche – a popular way to eat them in Mexico and Argentina too. If you happen to be in Barcelona or you’re planning a visit, be sure to head to XURRERIA (on Banys Nous, Barrio Gotic, Barcelona), named after the Catalan spelling of churreria. It is a family business that has become a bit of an institution in Barcelona’s old town, still visited by locals looking for a fix of this great Spanish treat!
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