Churros! Sweet, fried, and delicious.

Churros on a tray

This place isn’t making them to order, but they still look pretty great!

Some foods are common throughout Latin America, just with regional variations.  Tamales… corn bread… flan… dulce de leche… and churros!

Churros, sometimes referred to as “Spanish doughnuts,” are long pieces of fried dough sprinkled generously with sugar.  The cross section is often star shaped, which jacks the surface area way up.  That’s what you call a smart design decision!

All churros are not created equal.  Some of them are just vehicles for sugar and grease – not that there’s anything wrong with that!  Others have a wonderful texture, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.  And my favorites are hollow like a straw and filled with warm dulce de leche, fruit, chocolate, or other fillings.

While you’ll sometimes see pre-made churros sitting in a pile under a heat lamp, of course they’re best served fresh.  In some places, you’ll find churro carts on the street where a vendor fries them up for you on the spot.  There are also churrerías, cafes that specialize in churros, often serving them with coffee or hot chocolate.

A churro in Guadalajara, Mexico

Guadalajara’s finest! This is fresh from the street vendor. Very dangerous.

The best churro I’ve ever had – or maybe I should say the best churros I’ve ever had, because I’ve certainly gone back for more – came from a street cart in Guadalajara.  Unlike most of the churros I’ve seen, these are soft like bread and shaped like a hot dog bun.  The vendor cuts a piece of dough, fries it up, and sprinkles it with sugar.  Then he slices along the length of it (like they do to the buns at Subway) and spreads it with cajeta, a Mexican dulce de leche made with goat’s milk.  After one bite, I said to my friend, “I could eat one of these every day.” Every trip I take to Guadalajara, I spend a little time hunting around for that street vendor.

I try churros everywhere I go – purely in the interest of learning who makes the best ones, so I can advise my travelers where to try them! It’s a tough job…

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