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I would imagine there aren't many of you reading this that wake up in the morning and sit down to a breakfast of what is essentially doughnuts and hot chocolate. But it is a tradition that can be found in Spain, Portugal and much of Latin America, and eating them as snacks is an act that ranges further afield, to places like America and France.

The hot chocolate enjoyed with churros is thick and rich, made using melted chocolate and full fat milk. As well as for drinking, it is used as a dip for the churros. Along with hot chocolate, churros are sometimes enjoyed with a cup of cafe con leche, or coffee with milk, Spain's variant of the popular Italian latte or French cafe au lait. It consists of equal parts coffee (typically a strong roast) to scalded milk, with sugar to taste.

Churros themselves are a fried dough pastry (akin to doughnuts), often using choux pastry, made from water, flour, butter and eggs. Made into long and thin 'logs', often with a star shaped cross section, they are fried in oil until golden and crispy and often coated in sugar. Their origin is uncertain- one theory is that the Portugese brought to Europe a type of fried dough known as 'you tiao' from China, but made the ribbons by forcing the dough through a star shaped mould, instead of pulling the dough into long sections as was used for you tiao. Another theory attributes their origin to Spanish shepherds, who could easily create and fry the dough whilst away in the mountains as a substitute for baked bread.

by Kafevend

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