Wine or brandy? There is no doubt in Podravina. Both of those. But we are telling you a story about brandy. The first brandy was distilled in France around 1300, and since then it has spread throughout Europe. We do not know exactly when it arrived in Podravina, but we do know that in the beginning it was considered to have miraculous health powers, that is why French doctors called it “water of life”.
Stories about the medicinal properties of brandy began to spread in our Podravina. Stories about Her Majesty’s brandy were passed down from generation to generation. Along with lard, garlic, honey – brandy cures most emotional and physical problems. Recommended after a heavy meal, a finger or two of plums or vines will soothe your stomach. A sip will numb every toothache, disinfect every wound. A cork of brandy in the morning, against fat in the blood. No less important is that it will make you braver than a knight. Which can certainly help you when proposing to your chosen one.
With us in Podravina, at the time when young men with their fathers came to ask for a girl’s hand in her house, they would bring brandy with them. Of course, it was necessary to bring as much as possible so that they would not be embarrassed if they drank more and ran out. If everything goes according to your expectations and you ask for the hand of the chosen one, how will it be celebrated without a toast. A stamp for happiness and long life.
A sip of that divine and strong alcoholic drink burns and burns from the mouth all the way to the stomach, spreading a pleasant warmth throughout the body, permeating it with pleasure. Stamplek (cup usually 0.3 dcl) for spirits; bicerin) in the pot so that the meat does not fall apart, a few drops in the fanki (doughnuts) so that they do not drink too much fat. And as people say that a housewife is known by how clean her windows are, there is nothing better for the shine of the glass than, of course, brandy.
While our great fellow-citizen, the poet Drago Britvić, said that a poem about wine should not be a wine poem but an artistic one, our other poet Fran Galović from Podravina wrote:
I vu zdele krampampula vri:
Za lubav našo
In our country, we also call brandy žganica, a seemingly clear name because it is widely believed that it bears that name because it burns a person, that is, it burns in the throat when he drinks it. However, it is not like that, but the term refers to the process of obtaining the drink, which is called – žganje. We celebrate the birth with zganka, and we send the old ones off from this world to another world. We toast his life, and for those who are not with us, we pour two drops of Her Majesty’s Brandy. And the circle of life continues. Cheers!