Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Real Madrid Breakfast: Churros con Chocoláte!

Tired from dragging my luggage from Korea to Turkey, and then to Spain, and having not been able to sleep well in Istanbul, I finally got a good night's sleep in Madrid at Señor Tomas's Hostal Las Fuentes.

And covering Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol, Plaza España, Plaza de Oriente, Palacio Real and Almudena Cathedral from late afternoon till night added to the tiredness. I just had to squeeze in my visits to these places as I already lost a day due to Turkish Airline's delayed flight!

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, mine began with a delayed flight! Grrr!

So, after waking up at 8AM the next morning, I immediately opened my hotel window and looked up the Madrid skies. ¡Buenos dias! Time for churros con chocoláte desayuno (breakfast)!
      (Churros ready to be cut, served and enjoyed)

So, I just walked down a few alleys for about five minutes to Chocolatería San Gines, which was near the Church of San Gínes. This famous churros place is actually open 24 hours, but when I got there, I was the only one! I guess all the tourists in Madrid were still asleep!

"¡Hola! Churros con chocoláte, por favor!", I proudly blurted out to the señorita at the entrance, which was probably the same sentence the actual King Alfonso exclaimed when he sneaked out of the palace to visit this place in the early 20th century. 

I took a seat, surveyed the mirrors and black-and-white photographs on the walls, and convinced myself that I was not dreaming! I was finally in Spain and about to savor real churros with hot chocoláte! ¡Olé!

I read somewhere that churros were first created by shepherds who needed snacks when they went out in the plains centuries ago. But thanks to those shepherds, today, churrerias are scattered all over Spain to feed shepherds without any sheep.

My churros con chocolate cost me €3.90, and although I have always enjoyed tablea chocolate at home made by my mom, the hot chocolate in the churreria was so rich and thick that you could feel the drink slide down your esophagus and settle heavily in your stomach! Que rico!

      (By the time I was done, San Gines was full!)

Aside from Chocolateria San Gines, I also visited its equally popular competition on the other side of the block, Chocolatería Los Artesanos 1902. But Los Artesanos have more variety of pastries compared with San Gines.
     (Señor churrero frying sus churros)

On the succeeding mornings in Madrid, I went to San Gines and had cafe con leche, pestiños and flor. Pestiños and flor are crunchy, sweet fritters popular in the Andalucian region of Spain. I decided I might as well enjoy all other breakfast goodies in the neighborhood.

        (Cafe con leche, pestiños y flor)

When the shepherds during the old Spanish times created a batter and fried them into snacks, they might not have thought that, one day, the snacks they created would also bring such enjoyment, not just to the generations of Spanish families, but also to one tourist, who made his way through the alleys of Madrid and was welcomed with a cup of hot chocoláte and a plateful of churros!

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