Churros and Chocolate, a Sweet Tenerife Treat

Mon, July 18th, 2011 - By Andrea Montgomery

Tenerife tapas may not be to everyone’s taste, and honey rum isn’t relished by all, but there’s one Tenerife sugary snack that’s guaranteed to bring a smile to the sweet tooth and that’s churros. A firm breakfast favourite with students and with clubbers who stop off in early morning cafés on their way home, churros provide a sugar hit which is the food equivalent of a Red Bull.

Churros are are like a cross between a giant Catherine Wheel and a doughnut. A long, slender finger of sweet pastry dough is fed into hot fat in an ever-expanding spiral which is known as a churro wheel, and lightly fried until it’s golden and crisp on the outside and light and fluffy on the inside. Once cooked, strips are snipped off the wheel with a pair of scissors and all the precision of a blind watch-maker and served with a sugar shaker and a cup of thick, creamy hot chocolate. After that, it’s simply a question of shake, dip and bite.

Unlike the sugar saturated and cinnamon coated version of the snacks that you find dispensed from vendors across the US, Spanish churros are much less sweet, have a lighter centre and a more subtle flavour.

You can find churros all over Tenerife in snack bars and cafeterias and in churrerias which are places dedicated to production of the delicacy. In Los Cristianos, outside the Cultural Centre, you’ll find Marcos, the churreria van that has been serving churros and chocolate for 15 years and has become as much a part of the culture as all-day breakfasts and Robbie Williams tribute acts. In Puerto de la Cruz too, the Ultimo Chance (Last Chance) churreria van on the harbour has been plying its trade during every fiesta as long as I’ve lived here and is rarely short of customers.

Naturally, as home to the Canary Islands’ university, La Laguna is rich in churrerias which fry their spirals until the early hours to sate the appetites of their student population. In the clubbing capital of Santa Cruz too, you’re never far from a churreria which will find its biggest queues forming long before you and I have opened our eyes to the day as night owls crave their sugar hit to replenish energy levels enough to get them home to their beds.

As well as permanent establishments, you’ll find churreria vans springing up all over the island whenever there’s a fiesta taking place, they’re like the British equivalent of a hot dog van. On average a portion of churros costs €1.50 – €2 and churros with chocolate costs €2.40 – €3.50 which makes them a dangerously affordable family treat. But be warned, they’re highly addictive. Come to think of it, it’s ages since I had a bag of sugary delight…

Posted : Monday, July 18th, 2011 at 11:24 am
Category : food and drink
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One Response to “Churros and Chocolate, a Sweet Tenerife Treat”

  1. […] Whether it’s as a breakfast snack, a post-clubbing munchie, or a fiesta food hit, churros are perennial favourites amongst Tenerife’s young scene. These long, crinkly strips of deep fried sweet pastry (like a mutant doughnut) are delish dipped […]

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