Hungarian Paprika vs. "normal" everyday Paprika

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uncle eddie

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May 14, 2016
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How hot is Hungarian Paprika as compared to regular paprika?

I am asking as I plan to try a new Andouille Sausage recipe this weekend from Bruce Aidells Complete Sausage Book.

The recipe looks pretty good but the heat component of it is what I am asking about. For 5 pounds of pork the recipe calls for
  • 3 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
If Hungarian Paprika is "hot", this level of pepper is about double my Jimmy Dean Hot breakfast sausage level of heat.
 
This is actually a huge can of worms. HP is all over the place and worse yet commonly has salt in it. Personally, I prefer to sub chili powder for paprika. My fave is a hot one, New Mexican Red but you will need to reduce or eliminate the cayenne when using it. For andouille, I recall the coonazzes uses "dark" cayenne. Means made with no seeds. Hard to find tho. Milder and more flavor than typical cayenne.
 
This is actually a huge can of worms. HP is all over the place and worse yet commonly has salt in it. Personally, I prefer to sub chili powder for paprika. My fave is a hot one, New Mexican Red but you will need to reduce or eliminate the cayenne when using it. For andouille, I recall the coonazzes uses "dark" cayenne. Means made with no seeds. Hard to find tho. Milder and more flavor than typical cayenne.
I checked all stores and can only find HP at one of them. I am just going to buy it and do a taste test...
 
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I did a taste comparison to regular old paprika that you get anywhere and sweet Hungarian paprika. My opinion - FWIW - follows:

The sweet Hungarian paprika had a much bolder taste than regular paprika...but it was a "pleasant and more flavorful" bolder. I liked it so much more than regular paprika that I think I will always have sweet Hungarian paprika on hand for cooking (for flavor) and regular paprika for decorative purposes - like for deviled eggs or lobster tails or?
 
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Slightly off topic, but I have really taken to like the Spanish smoked paprika. It has a wonderful flavor, and is strong enough you can use a lot less.
The one caution though is on the Spanish "hot" paprika. When they say hot, they mean it! It's more like smoked cayenne pepper than any paprika I've seen
 
I did a taste comparison to regular old paprika that you get anywhere and sweet Hungarian paprika. My opinion - FWIW - follows:

The sweet Hungarian paprika had a much bolder taste than regular paprika...but it was a "pleasant and more flavorful" bolder. I liked it so much more than regular paprika that I think I will always have sweet Hungarian paprika on hand for cooking (for flavor) and regular paprika for decorative purposes - like for deviled eggs or lobster tails or?
yes, with my taste buds anyway I get the same conclusion as you and do the same, the Hungarian for rubs and cooking and the regular for decorations.
 
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Ok, with a little research, these are named after competing cities/regions where grown/made. Still looking for any culinary-related differences.
 
Szeged

By today, I think Szeged is typically associated with the best paprika in Hungary. Why? Probably for several reasons: a, the paprika plant spread and most paprika dishes come from the Szeged region (although there are wonderful paprikas grown in Kalocsa and other parts of the country too) b, better marketing – already exporting to western countries (incl. the US) in the 1930’s c, biochemist Professor Albert Szent-Györgyi got his Nobel in 1937 for discovering vitamin C, which, as you may have guessed, happened to be very high content in Szeged paprika. And this fact in itself, seems to have won the Paprika Capital title for Szeged. To put Albert Szent-Györgyi’s discovery more scientifically:

Waltner treated the effects of vitamin A found in the Hungarian capsicum, while Albert Szent-Györgyi examined vitamin C. He discovered that capsicum [i.e. paprika] is the main source of vitamin C. He produced it in a large amount thus creating the possibility to state the exact chemical structure of this vitamin, also called ascorbic acid. He also elaborated a technology for the production of a paprika sort with condensed vitamin C, a most healthy spice. … He discovered the catalysis of dicarbon acid C4, a basis for the Krebs circulation process. His researches concerning the peroxide-system led to the discovery of the reducing agent necessary for oxidation – the ascorbic acid. He established the compounds of hexuron acid, identified it with the ascorbic acid – and this is vitamin C.
Kalocsa
Growing paprika in the Kalocsa region (mid-southern part of Hungary) goes back to the 18th century, but industrial production only started in the 1920’s. Kalocsa was in strong competition with Szeged, especially in the sweet paprika (édes paprika) market. Their extra strength is that Kalocsa folk dresses are beautiful and girls look pretty with the paprika.

And FYI, there is a paprika museum in Szeged, if you are in the neighborhood 😁
 
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I always thought that the only thing paprika did was add color? I was joking earlier when I said it was children's flavored chili powder because I was sure that it was made from some strain of red peppers. I never really noticed any taste to it the few times I have had any food with paprika on it but I have never used any myself. I think it is what is sprinkled on deviled eggs?

Interesting to read about it.
 
The generic grocery store paprika in my experience is near flavorless red powder. The quality Hungarian or Spanish stuff is flavorful along the lines of any other dried chili pepper
 
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