What Are Porras & Churros?

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Porras and churros are delicious Spanish pastry snacks.
Porras and churros are delicious Spanish pastry snacks. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Originally from Spain, porras and churros are snacks that are found in many places around the world, especially in Latin America. Porras and churros are similar to donuts in that they are a deep-fried pastry. However, porras and churros look different, taste different and are served differently than donuts.

Origin

Porras and churros are two kinds of pastries found in Spain. Traditional churros are long and fluted and are generally thin. Sometimes you'll find them folded over like a horseshoe with ends that meet. Or churros can be cut into several pieces. Porras, which are commonly found in the city of Madrid, are longer and thicker and not folded. Both are crunchy with a soft center, and depending on the region, sugar may be sprinkled on top.

Variations

Variations of the churros are found in countries such as Chile, Peru, Cuba, Colombia, Portugal, Argentina, Mexico, the United States, Nicaragua, Uruguay, Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands and the Philippines. Churros in Mexico are sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Sometimes they're filled with "dulce de leche," a thick, sweet sauce similar to caramel. The churros in Cuba have a fruit filling, and the churros in Brazil are filled with chocolate.

How It's Eaten

Porras and churros are served in different ways. Traditionally, you're served several pieces of porras and churros with a cup of thick, hot chocolate. This is known as "churros con chocolate" or churros with chocolate. The chocolate is more on the bitter side than it is sweet. These are eaten by dipping each one in the hot chocolate. Sometimes the churros and porras are served with chocolate on top. Some people may prefer to eat them without the chocolate.

When It's Eaten

In Spain, it is common for porras and churros to be served for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. This is also the common tradition in Mexico and in the Philippines. In other countries, such as in Colombia and the United States, churros are often sold by street vendors, much like hotdog and pretzel stands. In the United States, the long, sugar-and-cinnamon-sprinkled churros like the ones in Mexico are often sold from carts in amusement parks.

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