A churro is Spain’s answer to the donut, a crunchy, deep-fried sweet snack that resembles the horns of the churro sheep. They are popular not only in Spain, where they are often served at breakfast, but also in Mexico, and several other Latin American countries. North Americans are not strangers to churros, which are often found in amusement parks and at county fairs.
Churros are usually made of a batter which is piped into extremely hot oil. They are certainly not a low-fat snack because of the frying process. Once the churro is fried it is traditionally rolled in hot cinnamon sugar. The ideal churro has a distinct crunch when one bites into it, but the interior should have a slight softness at the center.
One can often find churro stands in Spain, where these delectable snacks are prepared per customer request. Some tiny shops are called churrerias. Alternately, churrerias can be portable trucks or wagons that are used for local festivals or events.
Most cafes in Spain offer churros in the morning, and the most traditional accompaniment for them is a cup of hot chocolate, which may also be spiced with cinnamon. People often dip churros into the chocolate and claim this as the ultimate churro experience.
In other countries, some add filling to the churro. Cubans might add fruit to churros, and Argentina offers perhaps the most decadent churros, filled with dulce de leche. These delectable pastries may also be filled with chocolate or vanilla custard, and some have lemon filling.
Some churros are twisted into round or pretzel shapes, and others are simply long almost star shaped affairs. In whatever form, they are clearly admired. It is definitely best to purchase them fresh, as the churro that sits for long is likely to be greasy. In fact producing churros is a delicate business. Oil temperature must be exactly right so the churro is lightly fried, but not overcooked. If the churro cooks too long in lower temperature oil, it is likely to taste greasy.