With just one week to go before the 2nd Annual Tucson 23 – A Mexican Food Festival kicks off, we’re continuing to delve deeper into some of our featured local chefs set to dazzle your palette at this year’s festival. This week we sat down with the sweet tooth expert herself and owner of Churros el Rey, Perla Dow, to discuss what makes churros so iconic and what it’s like starting up a food truck from scratch.
For many residents of the Southwest, there’s nothing more iconic in the summer time than the sweet joys of a warm sugary churro. “When I was growing up, we would go to the fair and the first thing you look for is churros,” says Perla, reminiscing on her childhood love of the classic treat. “If you go there during the Day of the Dead in particular you’ll find 20 churro stands and it’s so exciting. They just make people’s day.” Whether you get them from the fair or a food truck, the ever-present and growing line of sweet tooth fanatics patiently waiting is a clear sign you’ve found great churros. Perla got to experience what people are willing to do for truly amazing churro first hand when she first opened Churros el Rey. “When we first started, I put up a lot of ads on Facebook announcing when we were going to open. When we finally opened, it was August 1st and it was really hot, we didn’t have shade on our truck yet and there was a lot of mosquitoes which I didn’t expect. Then our dough machine broke before we even started and there was a lot of people, but everyone was very patient. They’ll come from far away to try good churros, we just had someone tell us that they came from Fresno, California to try our churros.”
Even with a rough start to her new business, Perla pushed on, eventually getting herself and her guests some more than welcome shade and buying a fresh new dough machine to help keep up with her growing lines of fans. It’s more than just her love for this comforting desert that inspired Perla to start Churros el Rey from scratch though, it’s about something much closer to her heart. “It really started with our mother. She is getting old and it’s getting time for us to look after her. We started everything from scratch, it’s been very motivating knowing that we’ve been able to do everything by ourselves. This is a first-generation business and it’s just a great way to let our grandmother stop working finally and relax in her older years.”
Many food trucks settle for the traditional churro served warm out of a paper bag, but at Churros el Rey, variety is key to their unique style. Every topping from the classic caramel and chocolate to the livelier addition of Pineapple, Cream Cheese, or Sweetened Milk are all waiting to top their delicious churros. If you’re really looking to go all in, stick your spoon into a decadent Churro Sundae dressed with two of your favorite toppings. Is your mouth watering yet? Can’t make it out to their amazing food truck on Park and Irvington? Then don’t miss out on your chance to sample some of their amazing treats at the 2nd Annual Tucson 23 – A Mexican Food Festival at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa on Saturday, June 17th at 6:00pm. We’ll see you there!