The Odd Beauty of Queimada Tradition

A few weeks ago, we were invited to a friend’s house for a traditional Galician/Spanish dinner. While we knew we were in for some delicious Spanish food, we didn’t know we were going to be treated to a conxuro da queimada finale. Have you heard of it? It’s basically the equivalent of a witchcraft’s brew and it’s a Galician tradition that dates back to their Celtic roots.

Here’s a link to a recipe I found online for the brew.  Basically, like any witchcraft’s brew, it’s designed to ward off any evil spirits.  Nowadays, Galician showcase this tradition at festive lunches and get togethers in an elevated art form. Sometimes, they hire individuals who perform this whole act.   My friend, for instance, had this tradition featured at her daughter’s wedding where local actors reenacted the brew concoction along with the actual chanting that goes with it.

As for the actual brew, I actually really like it a lot.  It’s similar to an after-dinner drink, such as grappa or calvados, which does a pretty good job in cleansing the palate and capping off a good meal and evening of merriment.




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