Churros are especially popular in Spain and Portugal, but those in Japan have encountered the delicious deep-fried snack at Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan, and more recently, Mister Donut. Because of Japan’s familiarity with churros, the new McChurro from, you guessed, McDonald’s, has caught consumers off guard as it looks more like a flaky pastry. And so we headed to McDonald’s to check it out ourselves.
- It’s called “McChurro” but they don’t look like any churro we’ve seen
When we think of a churro, we usually imagine a long, narrow cylinder with a star-shaped cross section or those really cool ones that are in the shape of a cylinder or heart. But no matter the shape, the churros we’re thinking of are always fried so crispy that if you’re not careful, you might just cut the roof of your mouth on the sharp pastry points.
▼ This ain’t Mickey’s churro…
But McChurros are comparatively fat. The thin outer layer is crispy, but there’s a considerable amount of soft, fluffy insides…not like a churro at all! The McChurros reminded our reporter more of Youtiao, also known as Chinese cruller, which is often eaten with soy milk or rice congee.
▼ Youtiao: Tasty, but definitely not a churro.
Image: Flickr (Micah Sittig)
However, there is a theory that churros were created after the Portuguese encountered Youtiao in China, so maybe the McChurro is more churro than we give it credit.
- Plenty of cinnamon, but where’s the sugar?
The McChurros come in two flavors: Maple and cinnamon sugar. It turns out the maple syrup given out with the maple McChurros is the same as the hot cake syrup, so our reporter decided to go for the cinnamon sugar version. But the sugar part of the cinnamon sugar mix was quite subtle. In fact, there was so much cinnamon, our reporter paused after taking her first bite, thinking “What? It’s bitter?” McDonald’s is known for big, bold flavors, but the cinnamon sugar McChurros were surprisingly simple, even elegant. Still, the scent of cinnamon was quite strong. For that reason, right after eating the McChurro, our reporter met up with her friend who immediately commented, “What the heck, you smell like a Buddhist altar.” Cinnamon is sometimes used in place of incense…
- Great for breakfast or as a snack
The cinnamon sugar comes in a separate pouch, so you’re free to add as little or as much as you want.
▼ Just pour in the cinnamon sugar…
▼ Shake it up…
▼ And enjoy! You don’t even have to get your hands dirty thanks to the McChurro bag.
Although the McChurro caught all of Japan off guard by it’s not-so-churro-y exterior, it more than makes up for it with delicious flavor. Because really, who cares about the authenticity of something that comes out of McDonald’s. If it tastes good, it’s good enough for us!
[ Read in Japanese ]