Churros. How we love them – undoubtedly the superior, thinner version of the boring donut. They’re like the slim Latin American cousin that comes to visit one summer and steals all its bakery friends with their awesomeness. How can you not fall in love with this deep-fried golden pastry, covered in diamond-sparkles of sugar or spiced cinnamon, and just begging to be dipped in unctuous hot chocolate??
But there is a little more to churros than meets the eye. Sure, we sell them at El Camion as an indulgent dessert, but keep an eye open for our brunch menu soon, since did you know fresh churros are a traditional breakfast food in Latin America? Intended for dipping into melted chocolate or with a hot milky coffee… well, that beats cornflakes any day.
But there is still indecision about how the churro came to be, as a couple of different origin stories exist.
The first is that we have Nomadic Spanish shepherds to thank. They would spend long days on the inhospitable mountain sides tending their herds, and needed something they could easily fry in their pans. Thus these battered delicacies were created, named perhaps after the Churra sheep of the Iberian Peninsula, the horns of which look like the fried pastry. They would eat them rolled in sugar or pastry.
The other option is that Portuguese sailors brought the idea back from China, where they’d discovered a similar food named ‘You Tiao’. They put their Spanish mark on the treat by adding the star-shaped tip for those tell-tale ridges. That star shape ensures that the outside of the churro is perfectly crisp while the inside is fluffy as a pastry cloud.
As the for chocolate – it is thought this was added when Hernando Cortez returned to Spain with the secret of Aztec chocolate. Now they’re served in restaurants, by vendors, at fair grounds, as a great start to the day… who can’t resist a churro? We can’t – and neither should you by the end of this. Just in case, here’s a picture of our freshly made churros…
We’ll see you soon!