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This traditional Hungarian condiment is made from the finely ground flesh of dried red sweet peppers, with an addition of some of the seeds if a certain amount of pungency is required (past a certain point it becomes cayenne or chilli pepper). Its use is widespread throughout southern Europe (including Spain, where it is known as pimentón), North Africa, the Near East, and South America, but it seems to have become popular in Hungary not much more than a hundred years ago. Nevertheless it is now firmly associated with Magyar cuisine (it is essential to goulash, for instance), and the word itself is Hungarian—it derives from pàpar, Serbo-Croat for ‘pepper’. Elizabeth David (Spices, Salt, and Aromatics in the English Kitchen, 1970) reports that in the early twentieth century it was sometimes known in Britain as Krona pepper.

Subjects: Cookery, Food, and Drink.

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