Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Churros: The Official Hanukkah Food of Los Angeles

A new post, one year later.  Is this awkward?

Seriously, people, food blogging is such a giant pain that Instant Gratification Monkey often takes over, sometimes for months (or year. welp!) at a time.  But there have been so many moments lately that led to me telling myself, man, I really should blog.  I really should!  From a glorious summer Stone Fruit Feastival in Griffith Park, to an LA River coffee shop pop-up at a gorgeous Frogtown design firm, from an opera performed throughout Union Station, to a tapas pop-up (we're into pop-ups here) at an artspace/foodspace that's run by volunteers and constantly changes form, menu, and message, I just feel like Los Angeles has been offering me so much awesomeness lately that I need to share.

So, for this moment, here I am.  I make no promises.  Get it while you can.

Early Arrivals
And I'm here today to talk about a crucial movement that began way back in 2011.  It started with a simple inquiry:  Echo Park resident Daniela wanted to celebrate Hanukkah with the fried-in-oil foods that are traditional for the holiday, but didn't want to stink up her apartment with the frying.  So she asked Mr. Gold -- Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer laureate of Los Angeles, that is -- in his eponymous column, where she could find good churros.
He of course picked up the cultural significance of her genius idea, "a pastry that layers the mandatory Hanukkah use-of-oil motif with contemporary Los Angeles pluralism."  Churros for Hanukkah had begun.

We here at All Kinds of Yum (ie, me, Tannaz) really love contemporary Los Angeles pluralism and made-up Hannukah foods.  Needless to say, we were (I was) stoked.

the full crew

The first year, we walked down to Salina's Churro Truck in Echo Park, ran into local heroes Bruce and Avishay and their crew of fellow fried dough enthusiasts, sat on some steps where some people were playing cribbage, and churroed up a storm (of cinnamon sugar, obvs).  It was pretty magical.

This year and last, we went to Mr. Churro on Olvera Street.  Though I am partial to the knobby, imperfect fritters that come straight from the fryer (and are sold 8 to the bag) at Salina's truck, Mr. Churro sells his churros filled -- with custard, cajeta, condensed milk, or even guava.  We downloaded a dreidel app, tried to remember the words to our favorite Hanukkah songs, and even danced in the plaza as Olvera Street lit up with crowds of people for Las Posadas.
a churro friend from last year
So I am calling on you, dear reader, as Hanukkah 2013 nears its end.  Go forth and celebrate the miracle of oil with the best our city has to offer.  Latkes, schmatkes.  Tonight we dine on churros.  

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