Monday, 7 December 2009

The Honey Man

The Czech word for honey is the slavic 'med', from which is derived the word 'medvěd', meaning a bear, or honey-eater (as in the name of Russian premier Dimitri Medvedev). By the way, anyone interested in pursuing this etymological delight should take a glance at this entertaining article.

Today's portrait is of a honey-seller, who agreed to be photographed if I would sample some of his 'medovina' (literally honey-wine) or, as we would say, mead. I gladly took him up on his offer, which may explain why the picture seems to be slightly over-exposed. I also bought a bottle of it, the label of which I have reproduced below. Along with the honey-wine, there are also honey-cakes and biscuits, pots of honey, and beeswax candles of various sizes.

Náměstí Míru is now in full swing in the lead-up to Christmas, and the mulled wine is having its effect:  today there was an amusing moment when a neighbouring stallholder - the girl making trdelníky - dozed off just as one of her rolled dough pancakes caught fire and fell off the front of the stall. Alerted to the fact of her blackened, smoking, and decidedly extinct trdelnik, she gingerly picked it up and was about to put it in the bin when the honey-man, no doubt a placid human being under normal circumstances, started yelling at her to stop in case it set the bin on fire. Sadly I was unable to catch the whole thing on film, but I hope today's picture gives you an impression of the authority commanded by this excellent seller of mead.

'Only the Tasmanian devil knows what's good for you'

3 comments:

Jilly said...

What a fascinating piece on the honey maker. I wonder why a Czech honeymaker would use a Tasmanian Devil as part of his label?

Antjas said...

Loved the testy discourse on medved on the attached blog site. My father made med and medovina (the latter was not good, so I would never have gotten tipsy on it.) Too bad you didn't have your video camera to capture the shenanigans.

Julie said...

Entertaining yarn, Alex. All the better after a sip or three.

I query the same as Jilly: what could be the Tasmanian link? The Tasmanian Devil is fighting for its own survival at the moment as it is under threat from a quickly spreading facial cancer. The Tasmanian Tiger has been extinct from the early decades of last century.

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