A Brief History of Spain’s most delectable Treat!
Churros are taking the world by storm. In a VERY good way. These simple, yet complex (for eating them is a ritual in itself) donut-like strips of dough can now be enjoyed in so many countries outside of Spain – dunked in rich, velvety chocolate sauce, sprinkled with sugar, or both. Even The Great British Bake Off has tried to reinvent them… and I must admit to cringing when I watched that particular episode, for the humble churro is not to be messed with!
But where did they come from?
Well, the answer to that enigma is: Nobody really knows – at least not for sure. As with so many culinary greats, many are those who lay claim to their origins. But here are two of the most popular theories, both of which I love the idea of:
Spanish shepherds are said to have conjured up a simple cake-like treat as a substiute for bread. This concoction could be coiled (for maximum churro serving capacity!) and cooked in a frying pan over an open fire – which would certainly have given their working day in the mountains one hell of a bolster.
2: From China (via Portugal) with Love
According to some historians, it was the Portuguese who brought the churro back home to the Iberian peninsula with them, upon trading with China. For a similarly (salty) fried flour stick, called Youtiao is enjoyed in this specific part of Asia. The Portuguese simply omitted the salt (although a freshly made churro does contain a small amount of salt in its base mix), and decided to pair it up with a sweet topping (chocolate and/or sugar) instead.
One thing’s for sure: Just writing this is making me hungry!
I hope you are regularly having YOUR churros and eating them…