If you were to list the top Spanish culinary specialties, I think that tapas would take pole position, followed by paella, Iberico ham, croquettes…in fact, all Spanish provinces would receive honors! In this post, we propose to complete the list by exploring the delights of the famous twisted doughnuts known as churros.
The origins of churros
Who invented these famous sugared doughnuts-type sweets? As always, there are many accounts of their origin. Some people believe that they were discovered by the Portuguese during a voyage to Asia. They then transmitted the recipe to their Spanish neighbors who gave the sweet their famous ridged form. Others say that they were invented by the shepherds and nomads of the Madrid province: not having easy access to the famous bakeries of the towns, they created their own sweet recipe in the heart of the mountains. Perhaps lending credibility to this version are the breed of sheep called Churra who have strange horns which curiously resemble the famous churros. Whichever version you choose to believe, continue reading, for the best is yet to come…
Related article: Top 5 Churrerías in Barcelona
The art of churro-tasting
In certain provinces of Spain eating churros is a ritual which requires time and devotion. In Andalucia, for example, they are eaten on Sunday mornings at breakfast, soaked in a hot drink. In the Madrid province, they are typically eaten in the morning, often as a festive breakfast enjoyed with family; but they are also eaten and perhaps best enjoyed after a night of partying, when locals stop off at the famous Churrerias before going home to sleep. In Catalonia, they are often (if not to say always) eaten at the end of the day, accompanied by a thick hot chocolate drink. It is no surprise, then, that they are eaten most often during the winter! Imagine, after having walked all around town visiting the marvels of the Catalan capital, returning to your apartment and preparing a delicious hot chocolate to enjoy with these delightful churros that you have chosen and (thanks to this article) not just from anywhere, but from the best chocolatiers in town…enough salivating: now I will give you the addresses!
Related article: Indulge yourself in the best chocolate shops in Barcelona
The best places for eating churros
You will undoubtedly have to queue at La Pallaresa since this granja has the reputation of being one of the best in town. Be advised, their chocolate is very thick and bitter to the taste, unlike British milk chocolate. I am pointing this out in case you are accompanied by children who may not appreciate this ‘grown-up’ chocolate as much as you do.
Address: Carrer de Petrixol 11
Café Granja Viader
You will not be able to resist the authentic charms of the Café Granja Viader! The décor belongs to a past generation, but the churros served here are guaranteed to satisfy everyone. It is also the oldest dairy in Barcelona, and a family-owned business. This churreria is not to be missed!
Address: Carrer d’en Xuclà 6
Despite belonging to a chain of chocolatiers, the quality at Valor is second-to-none. The churros do not have the traditional ridged form, but this in no way diminishes their flavor. You can also admire the chefs at work making churros and take home a little souvenir from the on-site shop.
Address: Carrer de la Tapineria 10