Who said that the French were the culinary masters of the world?
I’ve just come accross this fine new example of haute cuisine: the chichis.
What is it I hear you ask… some lovingly created dish?
No, what we have here is good old fashioned BATTER freshly extruded from a large nozzle in front of your eyes and then deep fried, which is then dunked in masses of sugar.
It is usually served with a plastic cup of dipping chocolate.
In fact they taste really nice, just like hot donuts!
But what do we know about these delicious (and possibly naughty) sugary treats? The chichis, or “churros”, as they are called in Spain, have enormously evolved since their creation until today… but one thing is for sure: they have always been absolutely delicious!
Discover the history and origin of chichis.
But where do chichis (or churros) come from? You can be forgiven for thinking that they come from fairs, Christmas markets, beach stalls or travelling circuses, as you are definitely on the right path. However, if you want to know the origin of the very first churros, you need to go back in time quite a bit more!
Contrary to common belief, chichis do not originate from Spain, but from… you’ll never guess: China! And even more surprising: originally, these chichis or churros were a savoury treat. As you have guessed it, this is a far cry from the delicious sugary donuts that can be bought from a modern funfair.
Here is a bit of history: travelling Portuguese merchants would supposedly have tasted this delicious fried preparation that the Chinese called youtiao and would have been absolutely won over (can you blame them, honestly?). On their return to their native Portugal, they would have brought the recipe back with them before coming up with the idea of adding sugar to the mix instead of salt. Eventually, this delicacy crossed the border and the Spanish decided to alter them and give them a star shape. Fairground churros were born.
Well, maybe. Although this theory is quite charming and probably the most likely one, the origin of churros is still very much debated.
Some believe that churros were invented by Spanish shepherds, as they were easy to fry outdoors, especially in the harsh conditions of the mountains.
Does it really matter? In any case, we think that this mystery only adds to the charm of the famous churros, and whatever their origin, they are an absolute delight, a real treat… whether you call them donuts, chichis, churros and whether they come from China, Portugal, France or Spain… we simply don’t mind. Bring them on!