When traveling, most of us enjoy sitting at a cafe and watch the world go by. This is one of the best ways to take the pulse of a city and observe the locals in their day-to-day activities.
If there is one place in Malaga that you must not miss out on is the famous “Casa Aranda”, located right next to the Atarazanas food market.
“Casa Aranda” is a traditional churrería (dating back to 1932), a place that specialises in churros, the typical fried-dough pastry eaten throughout Spain. Churros come in different forms (long, thin, thick, curled, spirally twisted, knotted etc); while the term churro is used throughout the country, they are also known locally as Tejeringos, Porras or Calentitos, depending on the region. In Malaga, the term Tejeringo is the most commonly used.
They are typically eaten for breakfast or as an afternoon snack (known as merienda in Spain) to hold you over until dinner time, which as we know can be quite late in Spain (typically 9pm or 10pm). The “best” way to eat churros is to dip them in thick, steaming hot chocolate or in a café con leche (white coffee). Salty and oily flavors from the churros and the bitter tone of the chocolate mix in heavenly perfection.
Churros are fried until they become crunchy on the outside and soft and tender on the inside; on occasion, they can be sprinkled with sugar. The person who prepares them uses a syringe-like pipe with a star-shaped nozzle.
One might wonder why make so much fuss about a piece of fried dough made up of water, flour and salt (and a few secret ingredients)? Well, this is precisely because churros are so much more than just fried dough! Those tasty snacks are literally part of the Spanish DNA. Drinking chocolate with churros is a social event taken seriously in Spain, the perfect excuse to meet friends or family and “redo the world”. It is also the traditional breakfast that young crowds have at early hours in the morning before going to bed after a very long night out (it is not unusual for teenagers in Spain to go back home not before 8am or 9am!).
So if you want to experience Spanish life to its fullest, we strongly recommend you visit “Casa Aranda” early on a Saturday or Sunday morning, have a few churros and see how elderly folks on their way to church share a table with young crowds who have literally just closed the night club. This is after all what makes this country so special: a land of total contrast and social life outdoors at all hours.