It was not easy to find the “narrow hole” in the metal guardrail to be able to take a dusty road to Serbia’s Paprika Paradise. The small Serbian village is the self-proclaimed paprika capital of the world, and every autumn it turns a deep shade of crimson. What makes Donja Lokošnica special is not its history, but the industry that dominates the village and its friendly people. Every single household in the town is involved in the cultivating of peppers. Everyone grows them here, and the crimson plants are routinely described as ‘red gold’ in these parts. On average, every house in Lokošnica produces an astonishing three tonnes of peppers annually, in a cycle that lasts around nine months every year. The harvest comes in autumn when the millions of peppers are hung from every house to dry on the walls. We were lucky to be here in the middle of the short harvesting season. There is no parking in the village, but flexible locals parked us at the basketball court next to the school. In the evening, after our walk around the village, we wanted to take just one refreshing Zaječarsko beer in the local shop. But In the end, our “one-beer-stop” has turned into a big party with more than 20 locals, who treated us to some more beers and served us on old beer crates locally produced specialties brought from their houses (sausages, hot peppers, salami, cheese, ajvar, and tasty goulash). The next day, still a bit tired after the great party, we visited our new friends in the fields to see paprika harvesting. It was a great visit to the tiny village, where peppers have dominated the lives of people for centuries, and fortunately, that trend doesn’t show any sign of changing soon!
Parking location – Donja Lokošnica: 43.096597 N 21.969107E