Spain has a place in the world gastronomic scene due to several meals. For example, Valencian paella, potato omelet, Iberian ham, tapas and of course the chocolate with churros. Churros!!! Crunchy, warm and dunked in that dark thick hot chocolate. A traditional breakfast that warms not only the body but also the soul.
If you go around Madrid, you cannot miss this Spanish delight. Many guides will tell you about historical and famous places to go to try them. Of course, they are very good and possess their charm, but WabiHost can avoid queues, tourist traps and clichés. We take you where only the locals go to taste a delicious chocolate with churros the way we have them.
Now we’ll tell you everything you need to know to fully enjoy them when you visit Madrid.
A bit of history
Chocolate has a somewhat long and very interesting history. However, let’s just say that cocoa, from Central America, was already consumed in that region centuries ago. They used to make a bitter and sometimes spicy drink that they held in very high esteem.
The Spanish conquistadors brought it to Europe and although it took a long time to be consumed in this continent, they discovered its potential by mixing it with milk and sugar. It is not known exactly when this happened but we do know the result. A hot, sweet and creamy drink that seduces like no other.
As for the churros (and “porras”, the less famous brother), we have no confirmed history to tell, except that they were probably introduced by the Arabs in the Middle Ages. What we do know for sure is that they were very popular at fairs because of their low cost. This was around the XVIII – XIX centuries approximately. It was then that these humble fried pastries met our beloved chocolate and became love at first sight. This wonderful couple went on a trip and got quite popular in several Latin American countries.
Places and customs
The places that sell chocolate with churros have a very special atmosphere. They tend to be very warm, loaded with a somewhat old style or in some cases vintage decoration. Totally packed in the mornings and afternoons, they are otherwise always almost empty.
Artisanal churreros, as bakers, have to get up very early. It is common for them to start working at 5 or 6 in the morning. That’s why young people who go out partying are sometimes their first customers of the day. They stop at these places to eat and get ahead of the hangover before going to bed.
If you have chocolate with churros, you usually do it in company. Who does not do it, quickly establishes a casual conversation with the waiter or whoever is next to them. It is essentially a social meal. Customers regularly buy them to take away, usually in large quantities to enjoy them with their partners, family or friends.
It is very common for those who have a sweet tooth to sprinkle sugar on the churros before eating them. Its ribbed shape allows to trap both chocolate and sugar so that each bite is full of flavour.
Things to consider
As we said before, there are many places in the center of Madrid to try the famous chocolate with churros. However, my recommendation is that if you really want to taste them outside the touristy environment, you should go at least a few steps away from the center. It’s what we offer in WabiHost 😉
When you enter the churrería, you might have to place your order at the bar. Then they will take it to the table. But if you are just two, I would recommend that you eat at the bar. This will allow you to talk to the staff and feel the true atmosphere of a churros bar.
If you see many paper napkins on the floor, do not be shocked by lack of hygiene. Custom dictates that dirty napkins are better on the floor than next to the plate you eat from. Admittedly, it has its logic. In addition, this can be used to verify the quality of the place. If you see a lot of paper napkins on the floor, many customers have been there. If many customers go, it must be good!
I would also like to remind you that portions of churros are usually plentiful. Many times they consist of between six and eight churros per serving. So if you don’t want to eat that much, I recommend you to ask for one portion to share.
Finally, if after finishing the churros, you still have chocolate, drink it all and enjoy every last drop!