Yesterday our son gave us a packet of paprika from his holiday in Budapest. It came with a delightful painted wooden spoon. Paprika is extensively used in Hungarian cooking, where it is the prime ingredient in goulash.This wonderful herb originated in South America and was probably taken to the Balkans by Turkish merchants.
The Hungarians use paprika for both colour and flavour. It is rich in carotenoids and stimulates the circulation. Carotenoids are a class of compounds related to vitamin A. They act as anti-oxidants. The sub-class of carotenoids are carotenes , of which beta-carotene is the most widely known. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the liver. Vitamin A is important for bone and teeth formation, for the skin and the hair, and it aids the immune system.
We will most certainly be putting Hungarian paprika in our recipes this week!