Xurroland, PDX

This is the beginning of “Melody’s Quest to Learn How to Take Pictures.” And my first test began at Portland’s first xurreria called 180 that beckons foodies and neighborhood folk alike for authentic Spanish xurros.

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The name comes from the temperature (in Celsius) to fry these crimped delicacies. Think light, airy dough dense enough for a golden, even crisp that’s lazily looped around a wooden peg, light smatterings of cinnamon sugar like frost on a tree limb.

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Similar to cookies and milk, xurros and drinking chocolate make quite a savvy, sophisticated pair. The loop shape of 180’s xurro is perfect for dunking into a creamy, velvety xocalata, which carries a slight hint of cacao bitterness that reminds you that it’s made with painstaking care to balanced flavors. I needed the xocalata to heighten the xurro’s flavor, however, rather than complement it. With a touch more cinnamon, the xurro would easily stand on its own.

180 also serves xurros oozing with sweet fillings like dulce de luche and crema torched to a bruleed sheen. Now these are not for the faint of heart–indulgence lies in these innards.

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Portland’s gone wild for these, and there’s more to try on the menu. Every time I dunked a xurro into the xocalata, I cheered on Damian Lillard to score some of his own on the court. (Okay I admit that was a terrible joke, but I couldn’t help it.)

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