Lately I have felt obsessed with food. Well, one food in particular, really. For some reason I cannot stop thinking about churros.
I'm not talking about the single long monstrosity that we can get here in the U.S. The churros I am obssessing about are treats that I haven't had in almost 30 years.
Wait! Could it be that long ago? The last time I was in Spain was in 1987, so hell, yeah, it has been nearly that long. Sad.
The very best churros I've ever had were in Spain, specifically in a beach town on the Costa Brava called Playa d'Aro. My abuela had an apartment there where we would stay. Sometimes in the afternoon, after a morning of laying on the beach, eating a nice lunch and having a siesta, Lizzie and I would walk down the street, past the bars and restaurants to nearly the end of the town. We would cross the road to a tiny little shop that was always dark and smelled like sugar and hot oil. I would get an order of churros. Sometimes they would be hot and fresh, sprinkled liberally with sugar, the paper cone they came in almost too hot to hold. Other times, the churros would be just a little old: cool and slightly chewy. The sugar didn't stick on those as well because they weren't hot, but I loved them either way. We would walk back home, blissfully eating our afternoon snack, oblivious to anything else.
You know, I've been to Mexico a few times, but it has never even occurred to me to look for churros there. I'm sure the taste would be similar, but I know it wouldn't be the same. So much of my memories of churros have to do not only with the delicious treat, but with the location. I have had American churros, but I'm always disappointed so I haven't had one for a really long time.
Of course, there are churro recipes available on the interweb. I think my mom has even made some, but again, it's just not the same. I haven't even tried. I don't want to be disappointed.
Someday I'm going to go back to Spain. I'm going to be in Barcelona and I am going to wander around the beautiful plazas and look in all the shops until I find a cafe that sells churros. When I find that cafe, I'm going to get an order of churros, I'm going to sit on a bench and I am going to thoroughly enjoy the moment and savor the flavor. Someday that will happen.
Until then, I will think back to 1987, the last time I had churros in Spain, and savor the memory.