article April: Spanish Desserts
and Churros: The best in Spanish desserts!
people go to Spain on vacation they have to remember that Spanish food
is not Taco Bell! When I first moved to Spain I didn’t know what to expect,
but when I got there I was pleasantly surprised. During my time in Spain
(2½ years) I had everything from rice, pasta, fruits, to my personal
favorite, Spanish desserts.
Let me be the first to say
that Spanish pastries are some of the best in the world. A typical Spanish
food that an American might be familiar with is churros, originally from
the Spanish highlands. In Spain they are bigger and better and should be
eaten with chocolate. Churros con chocolate (churros and Spanish hot chocolate)
should be eaten by dipping the churro in the chocolate. If you should finish
your churro you can just sip the remaining chocolate or scoop it out with
a spoon. Most cafés offer them, and they are always delicious..
In several towns throughout
Spain you will find churreros (churro makers), like the ice cream man,
selling fresh ones on Sunday mornings.
Another Spanish dessert that
has yet to be truly discovered in the United States is the napolitana —
a flaky chocolate filled pastry found anywhere in Spain. It is important
to know that a napolitana pizza is not made of chocolate although it has
the same name. A pizza or sandwich napolitana typically has tomatoes, mozzarella,
olives, pine nuts, and you can add tuna or ham. A great meal for lunch
and dessert can be a napolitana washed down with a frozen Spanish horchata.
is a pasteleria (pastry shop) on almost every street, and the pastries
there are much better than in the grocery stores. But grocery stores do
have turron, a bar made out of honey and almonds which forms a soft nougat.
If you crave chocolate there is one with rice, basically a huge Crunch
bar. Turron is popular during the Christmas season but can be found year–round.
I recommend Turron de Jijona which is similar to almond peanut brittle
Apart from pastries you have
several custards such as flan, natillas (cold custard and cinnamon), and
crema catalana (similar to creme brulée). Flan, which can be either
vanilla or egg, in my opinion is the Spanish food equivalent of pudding.
Most kids eat flan or natillas after a meal in school or at home. All in
all what you find in Spanish food is a variety of great desserts.
If you are craving cake or
other typical American desserts such as chocolate chip cookies, you might
be a little disappointed. Tortas (cakes) are a little dry for me and are
not sweet, usually more of a bread than a cake, and chocolate chip cookies
are hard to come by. Of course there are the typical candy bars, but I
recommend the chucherias (candy stores) which are just as common as the
pastelerias. A Euro can get you an assortment of jelly and marshmallow
So when you are looking to
try authentic Spanish food make sure you take some time walking up and
down the ramblas (boulevard) and stop to get yourself a real Spanish treat!