Spicing up churros

churros savory appetizer foodservice

From J&J Snack Foods.

Over the last few years, churros have become one of the most popular items on menus.  The authenticity of churros sparks interest in diners looking to experience the true taste of international cuisine, while their versatility allows chefs to truly make them their own.  With churros making strong gains on dessert menus, they are beginning to make their debut on appetizer menus as chefs begin spicing up churros.

While the traditional method of rolling deep-fried churros in cinnamon sugar and dipping them in chocolate is here to stay, new trends are inspiring us to spice them up and add some heat to this tempting, sweet treat.

But the beauty of churros is that they are not inherently sweet; the cinnamon sugar gives them most of their sweetness.  Made from flour, water and a hint of sugar, churro dough can act as a blank pastry canvas, allowing for either sweet or savory finishing.  Churros are truly a dream item for chefs—an authentic, customizable, easy to prepare, speed-scratch ingredient that can be tailored to fit any menu gap. The time has certainly come for savory and zesty churros to take the spotlight, and chefs nationwide are giving the uniquely diverse item an opportunity to shine. 

According to Technomic, menu mentions of churros have increased 10 percent in just the past two years. This increase derives mostly from menu gains in the dessert category.  Cinnamon, chocolate and caramel are the top three ingredients paired with these delicious fried dough sticks, but we expect to see savory ingredients making strides in the years to come.

The ever-innovating and deliciously creative chefs at J&J Snack Foods—those responsible for brands such as OREO® Churros, California Churros and TIO PEPE’S Churros—have worked their magic to provide new savory ways to serve this once dessert-only option. Below is a selection of some of our favorites:

  • Spicy Sriracha Churros: Mini double-twisted churros rolled in a mixture of olive oil, grated parmesan, dried parsley and Sriracha sauce
  • Honey Bacon Churro Bites: Churro bites rolled in honey and topped with bacon pieces
  • Cinnamon Thai Churro Bites: Sweet cinnamon soft pretzel bites rolled in cinnamon sugar and served with a spicy peanut sauce
  • Spicy Buffalo Churros: Mini double-twisted churros rolled in spicy buffalo seasoning and served with a blue cheese dip
  • Sweet Heat Churros: Traditional churros rolled in smoky chipotle seasoning mixed with sweet cinnamon sugar
  • Cheesy Churros: Churro bites piled high and topped with aged cheddar cheese sauce and sprinkled with bacon pieces and green onions for a completely new poutine-style appetizer
  • Green Chile Cheese Churros: Churro bites topped with melted jack cheese and fire-roasted green chilies
  • Sweet & Sour Churros: Mini double-twisted churros tossed in sweet and sour sauce then topped with black and white sesame seeds and scallions

Whether you are just jumping on the churro bandwagon or are a churro expert, the opportunities are endless with this moldable and innovation-inspiring option.

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