Paan is traditionally used as breath freshener or a mild stimulant – this street vendor however, decided to up the ante by adding fire to the mix making him quite the hit with the locals! This “Prince of Paan” has succeeded in merging tradition with the millennial need for having things that are over-the-top and #instagrammable. To put the cherry on the top, the paan gives you a mild high, similar to that of tobacco making this street snack an immediate fan-favourite.
Paan is popular throughout India and Southeast Asia and involves different preparations of betel leaf, sometimes with berries or dried fruit, sometimes with spices. People generally enjoy it as a stimulant and also as a quick relief for things like headaches and coughs. Pan is traditionally chewed and spat out but modern concoctions are usually prepared for swallowing.
The flaming Paan is definitely of the modern variety where you consume the snack in it’s entirety. The secret to this fiery ball of stimulating goodness is not burning it’s consumers is through the use of special clove powder – the clove burns and releases a cooling effect (an exothermic reaction). That’s why consumers of the snack report a rather cooling sensation after the paan is consumed.