A Passion for Paprika

Paprika, along with several other Hungarian culinary essentials—tomatoes, sour cherries, coffee, and phyllo (which the Hungarians immortalized by reinventing as strudel)—were all introduced by the Turks during their numerous occupations. Be that as it may, in Hungary, paprika found its truest admirers. Even something as simple as paprika chicken (paprikás csirke) is a kind of lusty and luscious duel between the tangy richness of sour cream on the one hand and the tantalizing bite of paprika on the other. The Hungarian’s classify paprika into 8 types, starting with the mildest and sweetest, Különleges, which is bright red in color, to Erős, a very spicy version that is light brown in color. Interestingly, the peppers used to make paprika have the highest Vitamin C content of any vegetable. Indeed, paprika was used in experiments by Hungarian physiologist Albert Szent-Györgyi who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1937 for his discovery of Vitamin C.

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