Chocolate con Churros – My Spanish Obsession
I really like trying new foods. A lack of fear for things like offal and funny things means I often spend my time sniffing out the weirder parts of a culture’s cuisine. In Spain though, I had a much more normal obsession. I ate as many chocolate with churros as I could find. Much like how I eat gelato in Italy, except I fortunately never made it to twice a day for churros. So to make myself feel more productive and less like I ate a billion donuts, here’s a breakdown of churros.
First, let’s start with Madrid. San Gines is the obvious big attraction here, open til way into the night for those late night post drinking churros. When I went during the day the line was just too much to deal with and I left it for another time. Instead my first stop was Chocolat, off a random side street close to the museum area. It’s a small diner manned by a few brothers with some slightly out of place chairs covered in fabric like a wedding. Lest the reserved signs lead you astray, they were totally friendly and I was thrilled when they asked if I would wait five minutes when I ordered. Of course I’ll wait so I can have the freshest fritter possible!
Not the prettiest set up, but a damned tasty one. Here I got a mix of churros and porras, thin star shaped donuts like most people are used to and fatter almost Chinese you tiao like ones. I prefer the thinner ones.
Not one to miss out on churros I went back to San Gines and waited in line. Then while I was eating there were periods of no line mixed with huge ones. The interior was beautiful in a classic way befitting such an old institution.
The chocolate was a bit chalky on its own and the waiters efficiently brusque. The churros were barely warm as they just fry them constantly like a factory. I prefer warm service and hot churros thanks.
That’s a lot of chocolate. I want a jug of chocolate.
In Seville I stopped in Cafeteria Dona Carmen and rubbed elbows with lots of senior citizens enjoying their afternoon porras. I prefer churros but this was the donut of the day. Not the best of either item but the atmosphere was charming with the local old folk.
In Malaga I managed to go to Casa Arandas from the nearby market just in time before closing at noon. This was the only place I went where they let you order churros by the stick and had a takeout counter for them. Both chocolate and churros were good here.
In Granada I went to Churreria Alhambra in a touristy plaza. I found the donuts to be greasy and chocolate ok but again chalky. At least they were fried fresh though.
I got around to Cafe Futbol also in Granada. The donuts were almost densely solid here. I found both chocolate and churros between ok and good.
In Cordoba I stumbled on this stand outside the Alcazar while starving for breakfast in-between running to catch the free entrances. The dough tasted funnel cake like and dense. While not particularly churro like to me it was one of my favorite donuts fresh off the fryer and greasing up the paper.
Back in Madrid before my flight I stopped at Chocolateria Valor where they make chocolates as well. Accordingly, the chocolate was good but the donuts perhaps the worst and greasiest I’ve had in Spain.
My hostel serves chocolate and churros in the morning so it is fitting that the last thing I will eat in Spain is my most obsessed dish. Far superior to American (Mexican) churros of cinnamon and sugar, I will longingly miss the Spanish version as I travel onward.