Food for thought: have you ever had a bad churro? From the stick-straight variation I grew up on (hello, childhood memories of county fairs and Disneyland!) to the delicious, dulce de leche-filled churro covered with peanuts that I sampled from a vendor in Brazil, I’m putting my money on the churro. Like ice cream, puppies, finding money in coat pockets, and my Mom’s pumpkin fudge, churros are never a bad thing.
Churros are quite popular in Spain but, truth be told, before moving here I associated the treats with Mexican cuisine (and amusement parks). I had tasted so many delicious churros on trips to Mexico; I’ll never forget this perfect plate of cinnamon-y deliciousness in San Miguel de Allende. Sigh.
But then I moved to beautiful Barcelona. In case the Mediterranean climate, sandy beaches, beautiful parks, super cool vermouth-drinking culture, impressive Gaudi-influenced architecture, incredible cathedrals, and mystic Gothic Quarter weren’t enough (and goodness, are they ever enough) . . . the city has a street dedicated to chocolate and churros.
So THAT’S what everyone does when it’s too cold to drink at chiringuitos.
Carrer Petritxol, a small, dark, and windy street in the Gothic Quarter, empties into Plaça del Pi, a 14th century Gothic square surrounded by stone facades and overlooked by a rose-windowed church. Some days, there is a market in this square (where I have bought some of the best cheeses and chocolate bars); when the plaza is clear, it’s a beautiful place to grab a glass of cava and people-watch. Pedestrians pour into the plaza after winding their way down “Chocolate Street,” where granjas (bars) line the streets and serve up chocolate y churros.
Churros here aren’t the stick-straight, cinnamon-and-sugar-covered, wax-paper-wrapped treats I’d clutch while walking through Frontierland. They come twisted in every which-way, (I’m resisting making a “no two churros are made alike” joke, although I think I just did) and are served plain, alongside a cup of hot chocolate topped with a heaping scoop of fresh (so fresh!) whipped cream. I was surprised that the chocolate was served with a packet of sugar but quickly learned why: the thick, dark chocolate drink is rich and unsweetened. A dash of sugar added to the chocolate, a dip into the cocoa and cream, and I had it all figured out: I was experiencing a little
slice dip of heaven with this perfect cold-weather combo.
So now I’m not only a Barcelona lover, but I’m a churro lover; specifically, a chocolate y churro lover. Yes, I came to BCN for summer sun and the cava. But I’m staying for the winter and its chocolate treats.