Sunday, November 23, 2008

Churros and Chocolate in Barcelona

I rarely write about blogging per se because, let's face it, qua activity it's a little on the dull side. That is not to say that the blogging world doesn't hold a sway over me. Nor is it to say that I don't follow my blog statistics with a greedy fascination. It's simply that the mechanics of blogging are normally best left out of the blog.

Except today. Today, I'm going to tell you a little about what I learn from my stats. While the statistics don't identify visitors, they do let me know generally where visitors to the blog are from and, in some cases, what they were searching for when they came to me. You may be surprised to know that an alarming number of my blog's visitors are searching for "girls' pepes", which I suppose is a misspelled euphemism for vaginas. They are directed to the post titled Pepe's Paella. I can only assume that they are sorely disappointed. Not unlike those searching for "sexy nuns"; they end up at Nuns Cook.

More importantly, I've discovered that there are many desperate souls searching for the best churros and chocolate in Barcelona. They have to date been misdirected to this blog because of a post about churros in Seville.

Churros are deep fried pieces of dough, usually in stick form, which are typical of the south of Spain; they're not part of Catalan culinary tradition, even though there are a handful of churrerias sprinkled around Barcelona. My Seville churro post simply says that Barcelona's churros just don't reach Seville's standards and, with that, leaves those hopeful souls hanging

That ends today. For those of you who must know, there is one Barcelona spot that nearly reaches Seville standards (nearly). The pace is rather laconically dubbed Xurreria (the Catalan spelling of Churreria). You can find it a few doors down from a place called La Granja (c/ Banys Nous 4, Gotico).

La Granja (pictured above) is, well, a granja, that is to say, a milk bar--a little like a cafe, but with offerings that usually include a variety of hot chocolates and milk based beverages. For those looking for a break from bars, there's no alcohol and no smoking. Many granjas are holes in the wall; La Granja is one of the more charming and offers a variety of chocolates, milks, juices, teas and coffees as well as pastries, sandwiches and home made desserts. An excellent option for a light breakfast or a merienda (an afternoon tea, usually taken at around 5pm in Barcelona).

But back to churros. The Xurreria makes some of the lightest, freshest churros in Barcelona and La Granja--which sells a a thick melted chocolate so dark it's nearly black--lets you bring them in for dipping.

An individual portion of churros is a euro. The chocolate is 2.50. I have no doubt that your taste buds will thank you...your arteries, not so much.


Brett said...

I just discovered Xurreria on my last trip to Barcelona at the beginning of October. I was staying a few blocks away and walked by it about 47 times. Like you, I assumed there are no good churros to be had in Barcelona, so I figured it would be a waste of time. Finally, on my last day in town, I wondered in and bought a cone full. Wow! They were the best I have eaten, better than in Madrid (I haven't had the pleasure of eating churros in Seville). Crunchy, greaseless, and yummy.

Neeracha T. said...

Thanks for the tip - we were there today. I ordered 3 orders for the 4 of us, and then had to go back for 2 more orders. It was excellent although I found the xocolata at La Granja to be a little too thick to be drinkable.

Barcelona Food Girl said...

The best dipping chocolates are unfortunately not ideal for drinking...Felipe and I usually split a hot chocolate at La Granja so that by the time we've dipped all our churros, there's hardly any left over. If you're interested in something more drinkable, the "swiss" hot chocolate that is typically featured on granja menus is a milkier, more liquid version of the sometimes pudding like dipping chocolate. You could also try cold Cacaolat, a drink that was invented in Barcelona, at the Granja de Viader to be precise. You can find the Granja de Viader not far from the Boqueria in the Raval at Carrer d'En Xuclá 4 - 6.