Location: Szatmar, Hungary
About Tarpa Pálinka
Pálinka is a Hungarian brandy derived from fruits native to the Carpathian basin. These are typically orchard fruits and most commonly seen are plum, pear, apple, cherry, grape, apricot, peaches, raspberries, strawberries and currants.
Pálinka made of pomace (törkölypálinka) is also very common and is a typical drink in the wine producing regions of the country. Within each fruit there are obviously varieties which play a significant part in the final flavour.
Fruit trees were initially planted on the Hungarian plains to solidify the sandy soil so that other crops could be grown. Over time it has been found that the Hungarian climate is perfect for fruit production. In Kesckemet, the most famous growing region for apricots, the clay subsoil slowly radiates creating a greenhouse effect to ripen the fruit slowly.
Pálinka, originating from the Slavic stem “pálit” meaning "to burn", has traditionally been a largely at home distilled product. To villagers it was a way to make use of excess fruit that could not be sold, eaten fresh or turned in to jam.
This term for distilled spirit became widespread in Hungary in the 17th century and from there spread to neighbouring countries. Thanks to an EU directive the term Pálinka can now only be used for these brandies that are made in Hungary and a couple of neighbouring border towns in Austria and Romania.