Understanding Churros Importance In Hispanic Culture

Churros are a popular snack around the world and are commonly known for their great taste as well as their importance in Hispanic culture. In recent years it almost seems as if the Churro has taken over the world and can be found in almost any and every country you visit worldwide. Churros do not only quickly fill that hungry void in your stomach, but they also serve as a delicious go-to snack for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between.

Although it’s believed Churros originated in Hispanic countries, they have become famous worldwide. Still, their importance in Hispanic culture is interesting. Spanish Shepherds are said to have invented Churros. They are also known as a royal delicacy and are renowned for their simplicity and versatility. Some say that the Spanish Shepherds were inspired to make Churros after encountering Chinese pastry. 

Now, you may be wondering what a Churro is. To put it simply, a Churro is a piece of fried dough, and if you were to see a picture of them or smell them, you would most likely be reminded of their mouthwatering deliciousness. Churros are similar to doughnuts but are considered even better than doughnuts by most because of their crispy outer edges and fluffy insides!

1. The Invention of Churros by Spanish Shepherds

Hispanic culture is dotted with stories of the Spanish Shepherd creating Churros in the 16th century. Because they were staying high in the mountains with their flock, accessing pastry shops was not possible, so these sweet-toothed shepherds created the sweet Churros. They were easy to cook over the open fire in a pan and cured their desire for a sweet snack.

2. Simplicity

It is said that Churros got their popularity because of how simple and easy it is to cook them!

In the years that Churros were discovered, things weren’t as simple or convenient as today’s times. You couldn’t store your homemade dough in the fridge or simply switch on your stove, heat up oil, and fry whatever you like. They needed to be made there and then, as quickly as possible, with the least amount of effort required, and the shape and texture allowed Churros to provide a quick and easy meal that could feed many at a time, as well as a variety of ages!

3. Royal Delicacy

After this snack became so popular amongst the Spanish Shepherds, they took it to every port and made it famous worldwide. More and more people started taking an interest in it, and once they tasted it, it’s safe to say they were hooked! It became known as a royal delicacy, as even royalty showed interest in it. 

4. Good Snack After a Long Night Out

A combination of fried, oily dough and a little bit of sugar or spice creates the perfect recipe for a long night out. And if you know anything about Hispanic culture, you will know that dancing and festivities are part and parcel of the lifestyle.

5. Fried or Baked – Versatility!

We understand that fried food doesn’t appeal to everyone, or maybe you are trying to “up” your healthy lifestyle game. 

Churros can also be baked, making them a popular choice for those cutting back on calories. This results in you using and consuming less oil, making it a healthier option while still treating yourself to your Churro craving. The textured edges will still become crispy, and the insides are nice and fluffy. Because of their flavor versatility, you could even opt for a healthy filling like parsley and a dash of cream cheese.

6. Delicious Anytime Snack

A Churro is sweet, savory, or whatever you want it to be. Mix this in with the fact that you can find a Churro almost wherever you go, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate anytime-anywhere snack. You can easily skip breakfast at home and purchase yourself a Churro from a street vendor. A Churro will be there, somewhere to ease the hunger. This is a delicious anytime snack.

7. Versatile

Arguably, the thing Hispanic people love most about a Churro is its flavor versatility. This delicious snack can be sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar, filled with caramel, or converted into the salty snack of your dreams by replacing the sweet flavorings with a salty coating of your choice. A Churro can even be created into a healthy snack by ditching the oil and baking it instead and filling it with something like hummus!

8. Hispanic and Chinese History

Although no one is genuinely sure where the Churro originated – it seems the jury is out on that one – the general consensus is that they’re the work of Spanish Shepherds. It is said that the Spanish Shepherd got their inspiration from a pastry in China called the youtiao, which is more commonly known as a doughnut stick. Though the taste of a Churro and a youtiao are similar, their shapes do differ somewhat, and a youtiao is not known to be filled.

9. They were Inspired by the Long Horns of Sheep Seen by Spanish Shepherds

In the 16th century, being up in the mountains, only surrounded by your flock of sheep, and having not seen your fellow man in a few days, weeks, or even sometimes months could result in the mind starting to think creatively. And thus, the Churro’s famous look was inspired by the longhorns of a sheep! The next time you’re eating a Churro, think about the Spanish Shepherds tending their long-horned sheep!

10. It’s Easy to Eat

Because of how a Churro is shaped (usually, it is a long cone-like or sausage-like shape), it is easy to hold. Thus, the Churro can be easily enjoyed by all members of the family. This might not be a Hispanic thing after all – don’t we all love convenient foods that are tasty and easy to eat? 

Churros are often coated in cinnamon and sugar, which makes for a delectable treat! Cinnamon is known for having anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. In addition, it contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents and is a prebiotic, which helps improve your gut. Cinnamon is even believed to lower blood sugar and the risk of type 2 diabetes.

12. Churros Contain Vitamins

With Churros being so delicious, you might not think that they’re healthy, but they can be. Hispanic culture is about balance, so while this delicious treat tastes great, it’s good that it can present health benefits, too. Vitamins in Churros include Vitamin A., Calcium, Potassium, and Iron. 

13. An Easy Snack to Find

As mentioned before, Churros have taken the world by storm and become famous in most countries worldwide, but they are still not as commonly seen as in Hispanic cultures. In Hispanic cultures, Churros can be found simply by walking down the street, strolling through the mall, or even in the parking lot when looking for a parking space. A Churro pop-up shop can be found almost anywhere, and this might just be their reason for popularity.

When Churros were created, they were popular because they were easy for shepherds to make while away in the mountains. Nowadays, buying a Churro is even easier! 

14. They are Tasty

We cannot deny that any type of fried dough is tasty. However, a churro takes the tastiness to the next level because of its indentations. As a result, the outside of the churros becomes crisp, while the inside remains soft and doughnut-like. 

Last Word

Grabbing a Churro on the go may seem like second nature to some people – after all, you can buy them almost anywhere in Hispanic countries, and they’re convenient to eat. Combining its calories, vitamins, health benefits, deliciousness, and historic nature, a Churro makes for a snack that you simply cannot turn down.

+ posts

This article was co-authored by our team of writers and editors who share one thing in common: their passion for food and drinks!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco works as a New York-based editor at Foodrinke, driven by his lifelong love for food. His culinary journey began in childhood, as he eagerly assisted his mother with her local sandwich and bakery business, relishing every opportunity to sample her creations. Known among family and friends as an easy eater, JC has a particular affinity for Chinese, Italian, Mexican, and Peruvian cuisine. At Foodrinke, he channels his passion for food into his work, sharing his enthusiasm and knowledge with readers.