Churros and porras, a very sweet tradition

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One of the customs of yesteryear that we remember with more affection is undoubtedly breakfast with churros. Whether accompanied by hot chocolate or a coffee with warm milk, its benefits are well known in the Spanish capital, since in Madrid they are very popular and are sold as churros, worth the redundancy. Buy the churros in the usual store and delight in their tasty after a night of walking, or enjoy them while we walk through the fair, are habits that are part of our lives. However, few people know where the tradition of consuming them comes from.

There are several hypotheses regarding the origin of the churro. While some say they began to be consumed in Catalonia at the beginning of the 19th century, other sources believe that it was the Arabs themselves who introduced them to our country. Other assumptions suggest that the shepherds were the inventors of this delicacy, which they would have named in honor of the Churra sheep. In any case, and as in many customs, there seems to be no official consensus on its origin, since there are no reliable documents or records in this regard. Even the Provincial Association of Entrepreneurs of Churros and Potato Chips (APECYP), located in Madrid, has investigated the origins without being able to find enlightening data.

The secret is in the mass, as a certain advertising slogan would say, and in the elaboration of churros or batons with an optimal result, this is an undeniable truth. Professionals use sophisticated machinery to make churros, as they are the ideal instrument for churros to come out perfect. But even if we don't have a professional churrera, we can also make them at home. To make an ideal dough, a mixture of the ingredients must be made in a precise order, starting with the wheat flour, following with the salt and finally adding this to the cooking water. It remains to say that the quantities we will use will be proportional to the amount of churros that we want to produce. When the dough is well mixed, what is known as "well bound" is deposited in the churrera. This will be responsible for processing and cutting the dough to give the desired shape to the churros before moving to the fryer, where they will be fried with very hot oil until they adopt their characteristic golden color. The traditional tradition entrusts us to serve them as is, but they are usually tasted sprinkled with sugar.

The batons are made differently, following a different order of ingredients: first the bicarbonate, which will be responsible for fermenting the dough as would the yeast; then the salt, followed by the water, which on this occasion will be colder than the one used to make the churros; Finally, wheat flour will be added. The bicarbonate will be the main person in charge of differentiating the mass of the batons and the churros, since it will change its flavor and texture substantially. In addition, the batons are usually thicker and, instead of being cooked individually like churros, they are fried in the form of a large spiral thread that will be split when the time comes for sale.

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On the left churros, on the right cheers.

The custom is to taste the churros or batons outside the house when returning from the early hours of the party, or to take them home and have breakfast with the family, since it is much easier and cleaner than preparing them ourselves in the kitchen. Even the technological benefits of street stalls or churrerías have increased, since they can now use better machinery, such as manual churreras that prevent oil splashes (so as not to suffer burns) and produce churros in much safer hygienic conditions.

In Madrid the churros of bow are very famous, that formerly appeared served nailed in a reed. The tradition of breakfast churros dipping them in hot chocolate before eating them is deeply rooted and there are several places of great fame that serve them well and date back to the 19th century. Formerly they were known as churros verbeneros, since they were enjoyed in the verbenas and above all, they remain a mandatory tradition in the early morning of the New Year on January 1. They are usually consumed as breakfast and snack, and among the most exotic accompaniments, is the power to dip the churros in anise.

In Andalusia the churros usually have different names, being able to find in Granada, Malaga and Cádiz the weaving (in reference to the instrument in the form of syringe used in its manufacture), in Córdoba the syringes, or in Seville and Huelva the warmths or fried dough, while in Jaén they are called stems.

And as traditions have to be preserved, it will always be a pleasure to eat churros on Sundays and perpetuate this delicious food from generation to generation, apart from being the perfect excuse to gather the whole family or a group of friends around the same table.

San Gines Churreria


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