10 Fun Facts About Churros That Will Make You Hungry

Crispy on the outside yet soft and fluffy on the inside, churros are some of the most popular snacks around the world. However, how much do you really know about this addictively delicious treat?

Here are 10 fun facts about churros that will surely make your tummy rumble!

1. Churros were supposedly invented by Spanish shepherds

Churros with caramel

One of the most highly-debated facts about churros is about where churros came from. While it’s true that they can be found almost anywhere in Spain, there’s no actual proof that churros are from Spain. 

That said, one popular theory about the origins of churros suggests that these sweet treats were invented by nomadic shepherds living in the Spanish mountain ranges. Since there were often no bakeries there, the shepherds decided to make their own pastries using a frying pan. 

In fact, the word “churros” was allegedly inspired by a breed of sheep called the “Navajo-Churro” on the Iberian Peninsula, whose curved horns look exactly like the crispy treats we know and love today! 

2. Alternatively, churros may have come from China

Chinese fried churros

A different theory about churros history says that the sweet treat is merely a variation of youtiao, Chinese fried dough. This is mostly because the earliest churros recipe shared similar ingredients with the classic Chinese snack. 

According to legend, Portuguese sailors discovered youtiao in Northern China and brought the recipe back with them. Eventually, the recipe spread to neighboring Spain where locals decided to pass the dough through a star-shaped tip before frying, leading to its iconic shape today. 

3. Churros reached South America in the 1500s

While there is no clear answer as to when churros were invented (or by whom), many people agree that they were introduced to the Americas in the 16th century by the Spanish. 

Interestingly, this was also how one of the most popular churros combinations, churros con chocolate, came to be.

After discovering cacao beans during his expedition to the New World, Hernan Cortes used caravels to export them back to Spain. There, the beans were refined into a sweet, delicious confection and it didn’t take long for locals to start pairing it with churros! 

4. There are different churros in different countries

Churros with Dulce de Leche and Nutella

Given how churros are so popular in so many countries, it’s inevitable that you’ll come across many different variations of the snack as you travel the world. 

The most common forms of churros include churros dusted with cinnamon and sugar, churros dipped in chocolate, and churros filled with dulce de leche (caramelized milk). The latter is extremely popular in South America. 

However, there are also more unique versions of churros. For example, in Cuba, churros are stuffed with fresh guava! What’s more, although eggs are a traditional churros ingredient, there are now plenty of vegan and gluten-free recipes too! 

5. Churros come in all shapes and sizes 

Churros and Porras

Apart from the different flavors and condiments, churros also come in different shapes and sizes. One of the lesser-known facts about churros is that, in its earliest form, churros were generally the same size as breadsticks! 

Of course, churros these days look way different than back then. However, even then, these sweet treats don’t always look the same.

In the Andalusian region of Spain, you’ll find thicker churros called porras that are fried in spirals before being cut into smaller sizes.

On the other hand, South American churros are usually straighter, which makes them easier to fill with various condiments. 

6. Churros are one of the most popular breakfast items in Spain

While we’re on that subject, one of the lesser-known facts about churros is that it is actually mostly eaten during breakfast with hot chocolate! Now that’s the perfect way to start your day! 

Apart from breakfast, churros are also considered a lunchtime or dinner snack and that’s perfectly fine. However, never call churros dessert in front of the Spanish! That’s because the locals consider it too heavy for an after-meal treat. 

7. The proper way to enjoy churros is to eat them while they’re warm

Heart-shaped churros

Even though I won’t say no to cold churros, the best way to enjoy these popular treats is to eat them while they’re warm and fresh out of the fryer! That’s when the churros are at their crispiest and most fragrant. 

In fact, most of the time, churros are made fresh to order. Most cafes in Spain (and indeed South America) take great pride in their churros and you’ll very rarely find any that will serve you pre-cooked or cold churros. 

8. Each churro contains over 100 calories! 

Nutritionally though, how “heavy” exactly are churros? Well, this is one of those facts about churros you might want to ignore if you’re watching your calories. 

While they don’t look like much, a single churro often contains between 110 to 260 calories depending on the type of churro and what condiment you pair it with.

This, plus the ingredients and the way churros are made, earned this popular snack the nickname, Spanish donuts. 

9. Disneyland parks around the world sell 2.8 million churros a year! 

Yep, you read that right! This is one of those fun facts about churros that still blows my mind every time I think about it. 

Across the five Disneyland theme parks around the world, almost three million churros are sold annually. And that’s not even counting the six other Disney World theme parks! 

To be honest, I’m not that surprised, given how popular and delicious churros are. 

10. The best places to get churros Spain are…

Hot chocolate with churros in Spain

Finally, here’s the most important churros fact of all: where to find the best churros?

I feel like I can’t give any objective answer without starting a food war but I’ll give it a shot. I’ve tasted churros from many different locations, even at airports and train stations! However, I’ve narrowed it down to three locations. 

The first is a churreria (shops that specialize in churros) in Madrid with over a hundred years of history. Los Artesanos 1902 is a family-owned business that serves some of the fluffiest churros in Spain’s capital. It is also where you can find one of the best churros con chocolate in the city.   

For a taste of Andalusia’s popular porras, hit up Bar Comercio in Sevilla, one of the city’s most popular breakfast spots. Over in Mexico City, a highly-raved spot is Churrería el Moro, a family-owned business since 1935 where you can pair your churros with different types of chocolate. 

And there you have it: 10 fun facts about churros that will definitely stoke your cravings! Can’t get enough about the wonderful world of Spanish cuisine? Check out these fun facts about paella too! 

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