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Paprika

 

The Szeged region can boast 2100 hours of sunshine a year, which is why the city is rightly called the “City of Sunshine”. It is located at the confluence of the Tisza and Maros rivers. World-famous products of the city and its surroundings are for example the inimitable Pick-Salami and the mild or spicy paprika, which is an indispensable part of the Hungarian cuisine.

Our paprika comes from a family business near Szeged, which is already managed in the 3rd generation. The gradually ripening fruits of the Szeged paprika are harvested successively in four to six hand pickings, this is very labour intensive, but only fully ripened fruits are harvested.

The classic air drying process in nets gives the peppers their sun-ripened aroma and bright colour. The traditional drying takes a lot of time and practice in detail: The pods are filled with pods in thin nets of 15 cm diameter and approx. 2 m length and hung under the roof of the house (which looks like large salamis). The drying should not take place in the blazing sun, but in the warm shade with draught, preferably not over 35° C, and protected from rain. In an apartment there is neither enough temperature nor draught for slow drying; an attic with open windows is well suited. Depending on the climate, this process takes 3 to 6 weeks. The “modern” conventional and much faster drying method lets the sheets run along a conveyor belt and dries with heat – similar to a hairdryer – from above. This saves time, but robs a lot of aroma.

The cultivated variety was selected from 50-60 spice paprika varieties through cultivation trials. The variety cultivated for the Herbaria was distinguished by the best results in quality and resistance (in this growing area).

You can find paprika in the following products