Saturday, July 2, 2016


On Sunday morning, it’s off to the pueblo for churros! Churros are fritters of fried dough, the original doughnut, if you like. At some city markets you find churro vendors every day, but in my village, it’s a Sunday morning custom.

I’ve got family visiting from the U.S., so we are a big gang, requiring two tables pushed together at the Bar Porras, right in the central plaza. Some of us go for churros, another gets the Sunday papers (Diario Sur, the Málaga daily, and El País published in Madrid). 

Sunday morning churros gang. Thanks to the waiter for the photo--he managed to leave Daniel out. That's me on the left. Ben with his arm raised. Yep, those are tourist shops in the background.

Calle San Sebastian funnels us right into the main plaza and the breakfast café. That's Daniel, Eli and their older son, Lucas.

Churros, but only on Sundays.

Tio Ben takes his nephews to buy churros. Only on Sundays! We have to wait while the oil comes up to temperature.

This churro vendor uses a machine to extrude the batter into hot oil.

Takes practice--she uses two sticks to flip the spiral of fried dough--

--and scissors to cut it into short lengths.

Lastly, the churros are liberally sprinkled with sugar.

Here's another churro maker in the village. She uses an old-fashioned extruder, braced against her arm, to push the stiff batter into rings in the hot oil.

These fried rings are strung onto stems of rush (juncos).

The primos (cousins) don't even wait for the orange juice. That's Lucas (11) on the left, Nico (8) and Leo (12). Oh yeah, we have to go back for a second order. (Photo by Daniel Searl.)

We order café con leche, freshly squeezed orange juice, pitufo Catalán (toasted roll with grated tomato, extra virgin olive oil and serrano ham) to accompany the churros. Chocolate—a thick hot chocolate—is a favorite with churros, but seems too heavy for a sunny summer day.

Churros, also called tejeringos, are made from a stiff batter piped into hot oil. They puff-up while frying, somewhat like puff pastry. Except churros contain no eggs, only flour, water and salt. (Bring the salted water to a boil, remove from the heat and stir in the flour until smooth.) Sprinkled with sugar, they are delicious dipped into coffee or the fore-mentioned hot chocolate. They absolutely have to be eaten freshly made. (Another type of churro, called porra, is made with baker’s yeast.)

Churro vendors use less expensive sunflower oil for frying, but home cooks might use real olive oil. While there is no sugar in the batter, it’s customary to sprinkle the churros liberally with sugar.

I don’t make churros at home. Half of the pleasure of eating them is the social occasion, sitting in a café and watching people come and go, checking in with friends passing through the plaza (last Sunday, villagers were off to the polling stations for national elections), catching up with old acquaintances, complimenting each other on how guapo/a is their little boy/girl.

Here's Daniel and his wife Eli, who live in Atlanta, GA, enjoying churros. They've already greeted about six old friends.
Sunday papers are part of the churros experience.

You can watch a home cook make churros here (in Spanish).

Here's a recipe for that thick, thick hot chocolate typically served with churros.