The Hungarian Paprika chili powder is unique because of its exotic taste. Paprika is a dark red pepper peel (scientific name Capsicum) that is dried, finely ground. Paprika is bright red to dark brown in color, the spicy taste of Paprika ranges from mildly sweet to medium and hot spicy.
Paprika chili powder history
Paprika is a symbolic spice of Hungarian cuisine, but in fact, the chili variety was brought by the Turks from the 16th – 17th centuries during the period of domination here. Shepherds and cattle were the first to prepare food with chili powder. This pungent spice began to be widely used in Hungarian farmers’ kitchens. After that, the aristocrats discovered the special spicy taste and attractive color of Paprika to use this powder in daily meals. By the 19th century, Paprika became the dominant spice of every kitchen and restaurant across the country.
Kalocsa and Szeged in southern Hungary are centers of pepper production. These regions have the highest number of sunny hours in a year, suitable for chili ripe with a unique sweet and spicy flavor. The ripe peppers are harvested in September. By this season, Kalocsa, Szeged, and neighboring villages gleam in the ripe red pepper fields, on the fence, around the porch.
Farmers harvested chili, hung in bunches in a dry place, and then continued to dry in the terracotta oven. Today, the harvested chili is always dried in an oven. Traditionally, dried chili is crushed with the feet, crushed with a pestle and a mortar into a fine powder. Technological development, steam, and steam-powered plants came into being that ended the traditional chili crushing in the late 19th century.
Chili powder contained vitamins C, B2, B6, A, E, niacin, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, fiber, beta carotene and bioflavonoids that have powerful antioxidant, anti-cancer, and support the formation of the bones, nerves, and muscles while supporting digestion by stimulating the stomach and bile.
There are three main types of paprika. Applied depending on the intended use of the chef in the dishes.
Paprika chili powder: Symbol of Hungary food 3
How to use Paprika
Paprika is used as the spice for most dishes in Hungary, mainly in stews and soups. You can sprinkle Paprika on top of dishes to create beautiful colors and impressive sweetness or use to marinate meat and fish before processing. Especially, if you cook Paprika in a pan of oil, it will create a more delicious and rich flavor.
Hungarians often use Kadarka when enjoying dishes with Paprika for maximum flavor enhancement.