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What’s better than a Spanish siesta?

Casa Aranda in Malaga has been serving churros since 1932

In Spain, they take siestas very seriously. I can relate to that, I am from Bengal.

However, on a hot summer day in the coastal city of Malaga I learn, some things are worth giving up your afternoon nap for. Even if it means circling the block under the sharp afternoon sun when half the boutiques are shut as their owners take a quick nap.

All this for a serving of churros and a cup of hot chocolate at the iconic Casa Aranda.

Half the locals we have met so far on our trip, both sober and sozzled, have suggested we visit this churreria. But “make sure you beat the queue,” they warned with wise Dumbledore-like tones. Post lunch, I drag my friend out of our hotel, and force her to match pace with me as we march to Casa Aranda. Google Maps says it’s 12 minutes away, as it takes us through the promenade, past the Picasso Museum, and flower-decorated alleys to our destination.

It’s shut.

“Cerrado! Vuelve a las 5 (Closed for now. Come back at 5),” says a waiter in a crisp white shirt and well-fitted black trousers, looking weary. With 45 minutes to go, we don’t want to risk losing our space in the inevitable queue to get it. So we circle the area like hungry sharks. And at 4.56 pm, when we see a group of school kids heading that way, we race past them and snag a table. The waiter chuckles as he hands us the menu.

Casa Aranda opened in 1932 and has been doling out their signature crisp golden-brown delights ever since. What began as a single room has now expanded to two restaurants, one beside the other. A line of tables are laid outside and they fill up in no time. Inside the kitchen, the team gets to work, pouring batter into hot oil.

The batter, we are told, comprises flour, eggs, milk, sugar and a pinch of salt, but we are sure there’s a secret ingredient. In the pan, it simmers gently, resembling a coil that keeps growing larger as the Chef continuously rotates it with two wooden sticks. Once done, he pulls it out and cuts it into several pieces using a pair of scissors, with the flourish of Edward Scissorhands.

The churros are fresh, thick and offer a delightful crunch when you bite into them. The ideal way to eat it is by dipping it into super-gooey hot chocolate. The hot chocolate has a thick consistency, the kind that leaves you with a jolly moustache after every sip. And licking it clean is just part of the excitement.

Churros con chocolate is a popular breakfast across Malaga, we are told. Decadence, first thing in the morning can never be a bad idea, can it? For us, it works perfectly as an evening snack as well. Even if we have to sacrifice our siesta for it.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 2:21:30 AM |

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