Churros con chocolate is a dish served all over Spain and you’ll find it available from little trolley carts, casual canteens and the grandest of cafés. It’s also something that can be enjoyed in the mornings for breakfast, as a sweet treat in the afternoon and as the perfect pick-me-up after a night out dancing to the wee hours. And whilst it can be spelt slightly differently depending on where you are, it’s all the same.
The chocolate part of churros con chocolate is a thick hot chocolate that makes the likes of Nesquick and even our very own Cadburys great pretenders at this drink. Accompanying this warming cup of hot chocolate are churros – savoury, long strips of fried doughnut. It’s fried until crunchy on the outside but is soft doughy goodness on the inside. They’re also really goddamn tasty!
During my stay in El Campello, I didn’t really need much persuading when a friend who lived there suggested I try the churros con chocolate at Valor Chocolates.
Beachside in El Campello for chocolate and fab views
El Campello is a lovely seaside town. There’s not much to it other than the beach, the promenade, fish market and port. But then, really, you don’t need anything else! Located between Alicante and Benidorm, it makes a good alternative base that’s a short drive to livelier places and more beaches in Spain’s Costa Blanca. El Campello is also worth a stopover for tasty seafood! See our post on El Campello’s fish market and you can see just how fresh the local restaurants get their fish.
The promenade in El Campello was especially lovely on this December morning. I’d watched the sunrise just before 8am, which is just one of the advantages of being here in the winter as you might actually be awake (or close to waking up) to see it! Another is that this popular holiday destination is calmer and quieter with far fewer tourists around. Anyone putting their nose up at visiting one of Spain’s famous resort areas should come here in December! It’s beautiful – and it’s golden, sunshiny warm too.
The promenade isn’t so very long. The walk along the length of it only takes about 20 minutes. So you have more reason to take your time and enjoy the sea views. And facing the ocean are plenty of bars, cafés and restaurants offering you somewhere to sit, eat and drink throughout the day.
Valor Chocolates is close to the middle pier of the beach. It’s a big and quite grand looking café that’s all dark green wood and gold in decor. Like many of the establishments on the promenade, there’s plenty of outdoor seating. Inside, there’s more seating over two floors.
Before taking a seat outside, I had a look at the chocolates for sale. Obviously, I had to then buy some! There was an assortment of truffles, pralines and other handmade artisan creations. They even have a sugar free range! And they all (even the sugar free range) looked delicious.
The churros con chocolate at Valor Chocolates
After choosing a selection box, I took a seat outside and ordered Chocolate Mediterraneo (hot chocolate but with an orange twist) to go with a portion (or ración in Spanish) of churros. It turns out a portion is four of these very large churros! For lighter eaters, you can also order a half portion… I managed to eat three although really, I’m sure I could have eaten a fourth too. I was just trying to be good as I have a wedding to go to at the weekend!
Having a bit of a sweet tooth, I’ve had and enjoyed lots of special hot chocolates. I say special because you can tell from drinking one that it’s made with actual chocolate. But this one was really special. Sometimes you can get a chocolate drink that’s so thick you could stick a spoon in it and it would stand nearly upright. They can also be so thick they start to get a little clumpy (or you’re just meant to polish it up faster!) but this one had a perfect, velvety thickness to it.
I nursed it for a while so I could savour it and it failed to dry up at the sides or form a thin layer at the top like others I’ve had. The orange in it was noticeable throughout drinking it and I have now convinced myself that this particular drink must be healthier than a hot chocolate without it because of the added Vitamin C (it’s worth noting I also think Terry’s chocolate orange is half healthy too). They really do a good job of giving it an authentic taste.
As for the churros, they were some of the best I’ve ever had! Slightly crunchy on the outside and the dough inside was a touch gooey. A glass of orange juice came with my order, which was a nice touch.
More chocolate options
Other types of hot chocolate you could pick from (and I now want to try on future visits!) include dark chocolate, white chocolate with banana (perhaps with churros, it’s like a chocolate and banana pancake in a cup…), Aztec chocolate with pimento (chilli pepper) and a Mayan chocolate. FooThey’re served in painted cups that sit on a matching shell shaped saucer that keeps the cup in place. The cups were the right depth for dipping my churros in meaning you’d get a good mouthful doused in the lovely chocolate.
Sitting here at Valor Chocolates listening to the gentle lapping of the waves and enjoying some of the best chocolate made in Spain really did make me feel like Christmas had come early.
Getting there…Valor Chocolates Carrer San Vicente, 101 (Promenade) 03560, El Campello www.valor.es/en
Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 8am to 12.30pm and 4pm to 11pm. They also serve a whole range of other sweet treats including cakes, fondue with fresh fruit, crepes and ice cream. Valor Chocolates have a great selection of teas and coffees too.
Valor Chocolates is a well established chocolatiers and is one of the oldest in Spain. It means they have branches all over the country from A Coruña to Zaragoza. In the Costa Blanca, there is also the Valor Chocolates Museum in Villajoyosa. It’s just 30 minutes drive from Alicante and 15 minutes drive from Benidorm. The museum is free to visit and you’ll get a tour along with a free chocolate tasting… Can’t say fairer than that!