Now that we’re extremely keen on protecting our health, it’s high time to discuss once more the healing power of paprika pálinka. This is “brandy” in which we soak hot paprika or chili fruits. It’s not a common drink today, but it was in Szeged Paprika Town a hundred years ago. Paprika pálinka – hot made hotter with chili – offered healing power and cure for everything from cough, cold and fever to cuts and wounds.
What did Szeged country people use to fight illnesses in the 19th century? What else but hot paprika! Qualified doctors in the country were scarce therefore country people were used to relying on their own healing and curing practices when it came to illnesses. They must have tried and experimented with everything they found in their surroundings, this is probably how they discovered the beneficial effects of the paprika plant’s hot fruits.
Inspiration and encouragement came from the Franciscan monks in Szeged, who were not only priests of the community but also worked as healers. They encouraged common folks in Szeged to drink hot tea and pálinka (fruit brandy) in which they soaked hot paprika fruits (the skin and the seeds). This magic drink helped alleviate sores, bring down fever, and was thought to combat inflammation. Sprinkling hot paprika on cuts now sounds harsh but was thought to help prevent infection of the wound. To further enhance belief and magic, the Franciscans used the practice of adding seven (paprika) seeds to hot drinks as a cure.
Ferenc Móra wrote of this practice sarcastically in the 1920s: „Diphteria was a tough enemy but we took other illnesses easy and healed them with pálinka.” Colds and stomach problems parents treated with hot paprika pálinka and gave bread bites soaked in pálinka to children as young as six years of age.
In PaprikaMolnar’s Paprika Museum we experimented with paprika pálinka. The pálinka drink to use for this purpose should be made of apple of grapes (grape marc) and definitely should be served above 18!
Tetszett a cikk? Ha szeretne még paprikás és fűszeres témában, heti rendszerességgel cikket olvasni, hírt kapni az ÚJ paprika elkészültéről, iratkozzon fel hírlevelünkre. Subscribe to our Blog and enjoy our Paprika Poster.