Before I arrived in Spain, I had heard that Churros dipped in Chocolate were a good dessert to try while traveling there. What I failed to realize, is that Churros and Chocolate are everywhere, can be eaten at anytime (not just dessert), are made different ways, and are possibly the best invention ever.
Churros in Barcelona: The first churros I tried were in Barcelona at a place called Petritxol-Xocoa Café. Quentin and walked along the small streets of El Born to small little street called Calle Petritxol where we found a cute little shop with tons of sweets in the window. It was 10:30 in the morning and we were the only customers in the shop. I ordered the “churros con cioccolata” (my breakfast!) and we waited patiently, because they had not arrived from the bakery that morning. The door opened five minutes later and a man came in with a home-made fresh batch of churros. They were served to us warm with the the thickest hot chocolate I had ever tasted. If you have the real, original cioccolata, it is ten times thicker than hot chocolate in the United States. It tastes like melted chocolate with a little bit of milk mixed in and is deliciously filling. The hot chocolate went perfectly with the warm sugar coated churros. Our first encounter with churros was a tasty one.
Churros in Granada: The next place that we visited in Spain was Granada. I really enjoyed this southern city because you can feel and see the moorish influence even today. Granada was the last Islamic town on the Iberian Peninsula to be conquered by “Los Reyes Catolicos” during the reconquista. After defeating the last Muslim ruler, Emir Muhammad XII, the Catholic rulers Ferdinand II and Isabella II had complete control of Spain. Although Granada was conquered, a lot of the beautiful buildings were still left standing, including the huge moorish palace, the Alhambra. While wandering through Granada, Quentin and I stumbled upon one of the oldest plaza’s, Plaza de Bib-Rambla . While looking at the fountain in the middle of the square, we saw a sign for Churros at a café and decided to stop for a midday snack. At the bar, we ordered from a friendly waitress who delivered hot churros minutes later. These churros were much bigger and longer. They were delicious, but you could taste the oil in every bite.
Churros in Seville: After Granada, Quentin and I took the bus to Seville. The air B&B we stayed in was close to a square called Alameda with tons of cafes and restaurants where you could sit outside in the sun. In the middle of the square where kids were passing a soccer ball back and forth, there was a food stand that made fresh churros. We watched the lady pull a lever on a machine that squeezed dough into boiling oil. The oil fried the dough and she scooped the hot churros out and rolled them in sugar before handing them to use in paper funnels. Even though the churros were delicious, and it was fun to watch her make them, the hot chocolate that I dipped mine in was less thick. I think it used water instead of milk. Regardless, it was another successful churro stop.
Churros in Madrid: My final taste of churros was at St. Gines Chocolatería in Madrid. Unfotrunately, Quentin had to head back to the United States after we visited Seville, so for the last leg of my trip, I was by myself. Traveling by yourself is a unique experience because you are forced to be outgoing and meet more people. When I was in Madrid, I went to St. Gines for Churros two times (it really is that good). The first time I went was with a guy I met at a museum who was finishing Law School in Madrid. The second time I went was my last day abroad and in town with a group of friends from Italy, France, Australia, Austria and Spain. I would go into detail about how amazing it is to meet people from all over, but the topic here is churros so instead I am going to focus on St. Gines. This particular Chocolatería is in the heart of Madrid and is open 24 hours a day. It is a popular tourist attraction, but you also find tons of locals inside too which means that the place truly is delicious. The churros are cut from long circular spirals and the hot chocolate is rich and thick. My last day in Madrid, we ordered churros and sat outside under heatlamps. I could not have asked for a better way to end my choco-trip—new friends, crowded place, and savoring the best dessert Spain has to offer. As I slowly licked the last drops of chocolate from my spoon that night, I knew it had been a successful journey.
Churros and Chocolate may be one of Spain’s best features. It was fun (and tasty) to try the different kinds and explore the different way cities and cafe’s offered them.
And that’s an un-wrap!