Mr. Churritos: The Taste of Tradition

Ottawa Life’s Festival City Series is back! We'll provide a unique look at some of your favourite events.
We’ll go beyond the music with artist interviews, volunteer profiles, concert reviews and spotlights on
the tastes, sights and sounds of the festival season. 

Your city! Your festivals!
Like a good sunscreen, Ottawa Life has you covered.

Photos by Maria Alejandra

There are a few different contexts in which you can use the word churro. If you go to Argentina or Colombia, for instance, you probably can hear Churro/Churra when someone is referring to an attractive, smart, intelligent and graceful man or woman. Of course, you also can use churro when you want a sweet and tasty dessert. But in other countries, it is not only that. It could also be slang for a type of movie or soap opera, as well as to get lucky or get something at random.

If you go to Spain, the churros could be understood as a kind of dessert made by flour, water and sugar fried with oil, of cylindrical form. Perfectly crisp on the outside, rolled in cinnamon sugar, and nice and moist inside. Better yet, it could be said that the shape can be straight, in the form of sticks or loops. They may be stuffed or coated with sugar, chocolate, custard cream or dulce de leche.

In countries such as Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Dominic Republic, some part of the United States, Portugal, France, among many others, the churros are very desirable and famous due to its versatility to accompany hot or cold drinks, as well as different dishes, moments and events. Elsewhere, it is usual to eat them at breakfast or within the framework of the “afternoon tea”. This pairing is perfect for a long Canadian winter. Everywhere you go the churro is a great snack.

In Canada, Ottawa has its own meaning for churros. This is Mr. Churritos! which now is merging with La Catrina (105B Clarence St) in the heart of ByWard Market. They define themselves as “a specialty dessert company in Ottawa" whose "main offering is churros, a tasty, crunchy, delicious snack.” They say that their "churros have a distinctive crunch when one bites it, but the interior is soft and warm.”

But, why La Catrina?

“We wanted to show a side of Mexico that people hardly know. La Catrina is very famous in Mexico when we celebrate the Day of the Dead, a traditional celebration in which we leave food and drinks to the dead. La Catrina symbolizes this celebration”, say the owner Ulises Ortega.

But don’t get confused. Mr. Churritos will continue offering its product around the city from their usual vendor stand. You can find it on the corner of Sparks and O´Connor, or at Elgin St. and Slater Street. To good news is that now you will have more opportunities to eat churros in a warm and pleasant atmosphere, or on the streets to satisfy hunger and cravings.

“We have taken the popular dessert you can enjoy on the streets of Latin America and make it in a gourmet way. We have different kinds of churros, but mainly, the opportunity to experience the Latin culture while enjoying a sweet treat.”

And although this is a store created by Latinos, “so far our largest customer niche is Canadian, reason why we always clarify that our churros are not donuts, nor beaver tails … Our churros go beyond. They are different, incomparable in taste and experience.”

Its owners are two smart and enterprising couple of Mexicans. They arrived in Canada about 2003 to do their professional studies. As part of this stage, they developed a business project which was fed by the intelligence and resourceful of Ulises and the wisdom and commitment of his wife, as well as experts and friends.

Mr. Churritos has traditional churros and dipping churros where you can pick your favourite sauce such as Dulce de Leche, key lime, condensed kilk, cream cheese and chocolate. They can also make special churros with different coatings and toppings with unique names like: tropical, black and white, exotic or party night. 

Mr. Churrito is also going to be part of the Dessertfest, which is consider the largest dessert festival in North America, and where you can find all your favorite sweets in the same place.