All cultures claim complete uniqueness when it comes to the things they eat. Such is the feeling we Spanish people have about our beloved churros.
So what a surprise to find morning churrerias that spring up early at dawn to provide a breakfast of churros to the Chinese!
Granted Chinese eating churro or you tiao is vastly different from the Spanish one.
While we eat them with hot chocolate, or dipped in granulated sugar with a café con leche, the Chinese eat them with sweetened soy milk and hot and sour soup or congee (rice porridge).
It is something that is done in a bit of a haste before running to work while in Spain it is more of weekend leisure activity.
One day I went to a morning market to see how they make you tiao. The process is fairly labor intensive; they use a baking powder, sugar, peanut oil, alkaline water and a host of other ingredients that are secretly guarded by street vendors. The dough is kneaded and rested several times. After, they cut the dough into strips. Using a chopstick or the flat back of a knife, they make a gutter in the middle of each strip hence it looks like two breadsticks stuck together.
Finally it is fried in peanut oil and served.
The end result is light, fluffly and crispy.