Whether it's kickstarting the day or keeping you going after work, churros are a sweet Spanish staple. There's an inherent appeal to these deep-fried pastries, dusted in cinnamon sugar and dipped in chocolate. But that doesn't mean churros are the pinnacle of food – and when those doughnut-style sticks no longer cut it, check out Venezuela's sweet offerings. Golfeado buns are moreish and sticky, but with a slight salty kick – and the perfect alternative to churros.
Despite being so ubiquitous, there's a lot of confusion about where churros are from. Some people think that they're Chinese originally, and Portuguese explorers brought back the technique from their travels. Others think Spanish shepherds came up with the recipe – before they were deep-fried in oil, churros would've been easy to prepare over open fires in the mountains where shepherds grazed their livestock.
Nowadays, churros are made from a choux pastry and specially shaped in a churrera to give them their signature grooves and troughs. Thicker churros have a doughier texture, while narrow ones are much crispier with a fluffy, cake-like inside.
While you can find casual churros stands on the streets of almost all Spanish cities, sometimes your churros need to come from somewhere more refined. Churreria Chocolateria Las Farolas specialises in these snacks, serving them up with a cup of hot chocolate sauce for the perfect dipping experience.
/What makes churros so popular? It's their sweetness, their subtle cinnamon flavouring, and their convenience for breakfast. You can keep all of these by switching to golfeados, a.k.a Venezuelan sticky buns. Break away from your go-to and embrace dishes from across the South American continent. Antojos Araguaney create all kinds of Latin specialties, but they're especially proud of their golfeados – and rightly so.
Golfeados are made with an enriched dough – full of honey, vanilla and eggs with just a pinch of aniseed and salt. The dough is stretched thin, rolled up around a sweet cinnamon filling and sliced into perfect spiral-shaped rounds before baking. But the key ingredient here is the Latin American cheese. It's grated finely, and sprinkled into the filling and over the top – giving these sweet rolls a trademark salty tang.
You can enjoy the golfeados on their own – Golfeado Solo – or with Queso de Mano. This soft white cheese is a Venezualan specialty, made from cow's milk and ewe's milk curd. While cheese and cinnamon isn't the most well-known combination, it's worth trying. The saltiness cuts through the soft bun, aromatic cinnamon and sugary glaze, creating a world of contrasts. It's sweet and savoury, salty and soft – and goes great with a cup of coffee first thing.
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