Cost: 4 soles per churro relleno
Where: Av. Larco 608
My favourite thing about Lima was the churros. These are fried doughy tubes of heaven that, if done well, should be soft and warm and luscious in the mouth. My love of churros is such that I have vivid memories of almost every experience of eating them: as a child with my family at the funfair in Arecife, Lanzarote; as a first-year University student with my friends in Madrid at 4am; as a young man in Argentina trying to woo my now-girlfriend through the churro’s tasty persuasion.
In Buenos Aires I found that the churros were generally overcooked. Sometimes I’d have to get out the pick axe and crack my way through them. Now once I’d broken through and found the hidden golden brown seam of dulce de leche I’d mostly forgiven the churro for its distressingly solid outside, and if the outer surface was covered in chocolate I would be even quicker to forgive. But they just weren’t right. Probably the best place for churros in Buenos Aires was La Giralda, on Corrientes, where ancient waiters would bring you a plate of them accompanied by superior hot chocolate. These ones tasted pretty similar to the churros in Madrid, which would likewise be served with (better) hot chocolate. And the advantage of Madrid was that you could buy churros in the early hours of the morning. Surely the sign of a civilised city is that they choose to eat churros with hot chocolate at 4 in the morning rather than a hotdog or a kebab filled with dog meat and raw onion.
While in Lima, after every single meal I would go, almost unconsciously, my stomach guiding me, to Manolo’s on Avenida Lorca. There I would order a single churro relleno for 4 soles. The choice of filling was between chocolate, dulce de leche and vanilla, the latter being my favourite. After receiving the churro in a paper bag I would bear it like a fragile baby to the Central Miraflores park, trying to protect its head so that the warmth didn’t escape. And there I would sit and savour every small ambrosial morsel.