Some people in India are taking the phrase “playing with fire” to an entirely new level, by eating it.
Paan or (beetle leaves) is a popular snack in India particularly among the Muslim population.
Now, a new version of paan, known as fire paan is becoming a rage in many parts of India. It seems scary, which it seems, until you try it.
This is a normal sweet paan with peppermint brass added to it, which catches fire.
But more than the taste and ingredients, it is the thrill of eating “fire paan” that is earning it new patrons every passing day. The way the paan-maker puts it in your mouth gives you chills.
Most of those who consume fire paan are accompanied by family and friends clicking their pictures and capturing videos.
Consumers of “fire paan” say that it leaves a numbing sensation in the mouth but eventually tastes good.
Arieb Ahmad, who tried it for the first time, said he feared that his mouth will be on fire. “But nothing like that happened”, he said.
Another customer, Pankaj Gupta, said: “There is nothing to be scared about it. It is like a normal paan”, he said.
There are also those who consume “fire paan” regularly. One such consumer, Saurav Gupta, said: “Fire paan tastes good. I come here regularly.”
Divender Shukla, owner, Odeon paan shop, says the ingredients of the paan are dried dates, gulkand, grated coconut and rose syrup.
“People from all over Delhi come to our shop. It is an outing-of-sorts for them. Additionally, we tend to lot of foreign tourists,” he said.
However, the experience of fire paan is summed up by its first-time consumer Arieb Ahmad. “I was not scared at all. It is a very exciting experience,” he said.