the Chinese breakfast that Mexico copied and we know as “churros”

The Churros They are a delicious dish that Mexico adds as part of its exquisite gastronomic offer; however, it does not originate in our country. There is a debate between whether those strips of bread sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon are Mexican, Spanish or… Chinese?

There is a Chinese dish that explains all its origin: Youtiao. It is a traditional Asian breakfast that consists of salty, fried and long bread, usually accompanied by rice. ice creama kind of porridge.

Origin of the Youtiao

The Youtiao was not created with the delicious and sweet intention that we currently know as churros. Its origin dates back to the 12th century for political purposes. The people loved and respected General Yue Fei who was betrayed and killed by the Chancellor of the Song Dynasty: Quin Hui and his wife.

The bakers, out of anger at his death, made a recipe for elongated sticks of bread submerged in oil to disfigure them. These represented the traitor and his wife.


Subsequently, trips between countries became more frequent. In a commercial visit of the Portuguese to China, they adopted this dish and took it to Spain and their country. They made some modifications according to European traditions. They decided to change the salt for sugar and make it into a star shape instead of just elongated sticks.

The Spaniards gave it the name “churros” for its similarity to the horns of the churra sheep, a representative animal of Castilla y León. It is said that the evangelical ministers gave them the name because it was precisely the time when religion influenced many decisions -especially food- in the population.

They changed the bread for the new churros because it was much easier to fry them than preparing a bread in a wood oven. Currently youtiao is a traditional Chinese breakfast that is accompanied with soy or spicy sauce and rice.

Arrival in Mexico

With the conquest of the Spanish they brought churros to Mexican lands back in the 19th century. The audacity and daring in the country caused the modification of the recipe. They added cinnamon and even stuffing.

Youtiao: the Chinese breakfast that Mexico copied and we know as

Today we can find a wide range of churros in different presentations, sweet or savory, but the favorite is and will continue to be the traditional one, the one that we now know emerged as a representation of Quin Hui and his wife in the face of the anger of the betrayal of beloved General Yue phei; but yes, from this side of the world in its sweet version sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon accompanied by a good hot chocolate.