Many of you may not know this, but I have a thing with Churros. Maybe more like an obsession. Now, I know what you’re thinking – those stale fried greasy dough sticks you get at a club store or at a kid’s birthday party? No, not those. Not ever.
Like many culinary ideas that have been adopted and ruined by their mass production in the US, Churros done well are divine, and I’m constantly searching for the best ones. Kirby will tell you that I would beg to drive across the border at Tijuana while we lived in San Diego just to come back and get a bag of them while waiting in line at border control (for under $5).
Like most countries in the world that have some sort of fried dough treat, a Churro is Mexico’s version. There is controversy of who invented them – some say they were the invention of nomadic Spanish shepherds. Living high in the mountains with no access to bakeries, the Spanish shepherds supposedly created Churros, which were easy for them to cook in frying pans over fire. And, Mexican Churros are vegan (a plus for me!) with only 4-5 ingredients.
Churros at their worst are cold, doughy, chewy, stale, or hard – over sugared with fake cinnamon and lacking flavor or just the right crunch.
Churros at their best are HOT, crunchy on the outside, slightly soft/chewy on the inside with just enough fat so that the sugar/cinnamon melts and sticks to each side (and when the ridges can catch that extra sugar and cinnamon). They are best when an inch+ in diameter in a paper bag and eaten outside (preferably) while watching the world go by.
Churros in Mexico are usually a street food staple for kids or families. There are variations that are interesting: you can get them with sauces on top or Churros Relleno (stuffed) with syrup or sauces. You can dip them in hot chocolate, and you can get them absolutely plain, or with sugar, with sugar & cinnamon, drizzled or stuffed with chocolate, caramel, crema or strawberry – my preference is with sugar and cinnamon.
I also recently visited one of the oldest Churro institutions in Mexico. Churreria el Moro in Mexico City is an 80 year old establishment that was serving up some mighty perfect servings.
Churros are also making a comeback as an authentic Mexican dessert. Celebrity chef/owner Enrique Olvera (featured on Chef’s Table), of Pujol in Mexico City (one of 50 best restaurants in the world) has reimagined Mexican street food as haute cuisine, and naturally, Churros are in integral part of his dessert course.
Churros Don David at Revolution of 1910 1530, Commercial Zone, 23000 La Paz, BCS is the ONLY open Churro place left in La Paz. We visited two others that I found on Google and Yelp, but they were both closed and required a taxi or Uber to get there. These churros were good, not great, but they were warm, thin, crunchy, sweet, and popular – 6 pieces (about 12″ long) for 20 MEX (or $1). I hear that occasionally you can get them on the Malecon during holidays, but trust me, I was on the Malecon for every holiday (there were about 7 while we were there), and I saw NO CHURROS!
Onto our next stops – constantly seeking Churros – wish me luck! 🙂