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Paprika -- Peppers



Assorted paprika fruits from Mexico

Scientific classification
Capsicum annuum

Paprika is a sweet-to-mildly hot cultivar of the chile pepper (Capsicum annuum, of the family Solanaceae). Paprika peppers are elongated or round fruit, bright red, yellow or green.

Paprika plants tolerate nearly every climate and are grown all over the world. A fairly warm climate is necessary for a strong aroma.

Hungary is probably the world's leading producer of paprika. In fact, the Hungarian word "paprika" refers not only to this type of pepper, but to all peppers in general. (Prompted by the discovery of high levels of potential carcinogenic aflatoxins in its popular spice, Hungary banned sales of the ingredient in October 2004, though it has since resumed sales in a more supervised manner.)

In the United States, California and Texas are the main producers.


Paprika peppers come in various shapes and colors
Paprika peppers come in various shapes and colors

Paprika is often eaten as a ground powder but sometimes as a fresh vegetable. It is commonly used in Hungarian, Balkan, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian cuisines. The round type can be stuffed with cottage cheese or salad to make a portable lunch.

Small slices of pickled paprika are traditionally stuffed into green olives in the U.S. see pimento.

Some specialty varieties of paprika are hot but the generally available ground preparation is quite mild.

Wikibooks Cookbook has more about this subject:


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