Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Katie Ayoub
February 10, 2021

Is it fair food? A ballpark snack? Dessert item? Yes to everything. Churros, those crispy, golden cylinders of deep-fried dough showered in sugar, are having a moment. Born in Spain and celebrated throughout the world, creative variations are popping up on menus here. Restaurant brands are leveraging the broad appeal of this craveable, dippable snack/dessert and creating memorable versions of their own.

Masia, a modern Spanish restaurant in Portland, Ore., offers diners a joyful abundance of choices on its all-day churros menu. Jose Chesa, executive chef, serves classic churros, dusted with cinnamon and sugar; stuffed churros with either dulce de leche or Nutella; ice cream sandwiched between churro buns; and a choice of either marshmallow dip or crema Catalana for any of the churro items on the menu. Masia also makes churros a part of its to-go bundles. A recent picnic box of charcuterie, Russian potato salad and house pickles included churros as the sweet treat.

Churros are the fastest-growing dessert option on menus today.
Datassential, 2020

Concepts like The Gringo, an eclectic Mexican restaurant in Chicago, and Churroholic, based in Anaheim, Calif., add a gloriously silly side to churros, attracting younger diners and any of us looking for a little candy-filled fun. Each takes advantage of the churro’s versatility which, at its core, is a simple choux pastry.

The Gringo’s menu includes Pop Rocks Churros with a candy glaze and Samoa Churros with a caramel-coconut frosting.

Churroholic is equally creative in its exploration of American candy culture, with offerings like the Matcha & Pebbles Churro, a giant churro loop coated with Fruity Pebbles cereal. Churro Breakfast Bites are also on the menu, moving churros into a mini size: Fresh-cut fruit paired with churro bites are topped with whipped cream and powdered sugar and drizzled with raspberry and chocolate sauces.

About The Author

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Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.