Duros are a crunchy Mexican snack food eaten with toppings such as lime juice, hot sauce, cinnamon sugar, or cheese. They resemble uncooked pasta before they are cooked, and puff up into a light and airy snack after being deep-fried or heated in a microwave. The main ingredients of duros are flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. Duros are often shaped like wagon wheels, but they can also be found in shapes such as triangles or strips. In some regions of Mexico and the United States, street vendors sell pre-cooked duros out of vending carts.
Depending on language and region, duros may also be called durros, duritos, or pasta para duros. Although many people believe they are a form of pork rind, they are actually made of flour. Most often, the flour used to make them is wheat flour. Duros are sold in bulk form in many Mexican markets, and are usually available over the Internet for regions where Mexican food products are scarce.
Before being cooked, duros are small, hard, and resemble dark pasta. The traditional cooking process involves deep frying them in oil and then laying them out to rest on a stack of paper towels so that the excess cooking oil can drain before they are eaten. Some people cook them in a microwave instead. Whichever method is used, on being cooked, the snacks will puff up to three or four times their original size and become airy and lighter in color.
After being cooked and drained, duros are usually topped with ingredients that are salty, spicy, or sweet. Some people like to use all three flavors at once. The toppings chosen depend on personal preference, and some toppings may be more popular in certain regions than others. The most widely recognized traditional topping for this crunchy Mexican snack food is a mixture of chili sauce and lime juice. Another popular topping variety is a mixture of cinnamon and sugar, which results in a sweet treat instead of a spicy one.
In some regions of Mexico and the United States, street vendors sell duros out of carts. The vendors usually cook the snacks at home and pre-package them in large, clear plastic bags. When they sell a bag, they offer the customer a choice of toppings. After adding the toppings to the bag, they then seal the bag and shake it vigorously to distribute the toppings evenly.