Do you mistake Hungarian paprika for a mildly hot spice with bright color only? It’s time to know the truth.
Hungarian paprika comes in various heat levels and flavors, ranging from sweet and mild to hot and spicy. So, picking any Hungarian paprika after confirming its heat level and flavor complexity is essential–it can make or ruin your hard-earned meal.
To help you choose the right Hungarian chili to compliment your dishes, we’ve got you this well-researched guide.
Below are a few common Hungarian paprikas that can elevate your culinary game.
6 Most Common Hungarian Paprikas Ranked from Sweet to Hottes
The most commonly used types of Hungarian paprika are:
1. Édesnemes (Noble sweet)
Édesnemes is the most common variety of Hungarian paprika. It has a sweet, mild flavor– it’s not considered spicy at all. Additionally, the color is bright red.
Why is it sweet?
Noble Sweet Hungarian chili pepper is made by using sweet paprika. These peppers have a conical shape — large and a bit elongated.
Their flesh is thick and of bright red color when ripe.
Fully ripened Nobel paprika are dried and ground to make paprika. Hence, the resulting chili has a bright red color, a sweet and fruity flavor, and a mild to medium heat level.
The primary purpose of this paprika is to add color and flavor to stews, soups, and other traditional dishes such as goulash and paprikash.
2. Félédes Paprika (Half Sweet)
Félédes paprika is made from peppers similar to the Szegedi paprika. These peppers are harvested when they are fully ripe. And then dried and ground to make a fine paprika powder. The resulting spice has a deep red color and a slightly smoky, sweet flavor with a mild heat level.
Hungarian cuisine uses félédes paprika when adding color and flavor to stews, soups, and meat dishes.
It’s often combined with other Hungarian paprika varieties to create complex flavors. Félédes paprika can also be used as a garnish for dishes such as deviled eggs or potato salad.
Félédes paprika can also be used as an alternative to Nobel sweet paprika.
3. Csípősmentes Csemege (Delicate with rich flavor)
Just like Félédes paprika, Csípősmentes csemege paprika is also made from a chili pepper variety called the Szegedi paprika. Szegedi paprika is famous for its bright red color, sweet and mildly spicy flavor, and aroma.
Szegedi peppers are harvested in late summer or early fall. The peppers are then dried in the sun or a low-temperature oven. Once the peppers are dry, they’re ground into a fine powder.
Just like other mild and sweet Hungarian paprika, Csemege paprika is also used to add flavor and color to stews, soups, and meat dishes.
Csemege paprika, Félédes paprika, and Nobel sweet can be used alternatively.
4. Csípős Csemege (Delicate, with heat)
Csípősmentes Csemege paprika is a variety of Hungarian paprika sometimes referred to as “mild sweet paprika” or “sweet paprika without heat.” The name “csípősmentes” literally means “without heat” in Hungarian.
This Hungarian paprika is made from the same variety of chili pepper as traditional Csemege paprika (Szegedi paprika). But to maintain the delicacy of heat, it’s made from a pepper hybrid with little or no heat. Therefore, the resulting spice has a mild, sweet flavor without any spiciness.
In several Hungarian dishes, Csípősmentes Csemege paprika is the primary spice that adds color and flavor to stews, soups, and other dishes. It also substitutes for other traditional Csemege paprikas but not for Noble sweet paprika.
5. Rózsa (Rose)
Rózsa paprika is not a single cultivar of paprika, but it’s a blend of other Capsicum annuum varieties, such as Jalapeño, Serrano, or Cayenne, combined with sweet peppers such as Szegedi or Kalocsa. Its deep red color, which is reminiscent of a rose, is the reason behind the name “Rózsa.”
The hot peppers help kick the spicy flavor, and sweet peppers provide a balance of flavor and color.
The heat level of Rózsa paprika is higher than all other Hungarian chilies we discussed earlier–it has a medium heat level.
Like other Hungarian varieties, Rózsa paprika has anti-inflammatory properties and pain relief.
6. Eros (Hot or Strong)
Eros paprika is a type of Hungarian paprika made from hot chili peppers. The word “Eros” means “hot” in Hungarian. Hence, this variety of paprika is the hottest among all other Hungarian paprika.
Rózsa has been a blend of hot and sweet chilies. Yet, Eros paprika has only hot chilies used in Rózsa, Cayenne, or Jalapeño. These chilies are dried and ground after they’re fully harvested. The resulting spice has a bright red color and a hot, spicy flavor significantly hotter than Csípősmentes Csemege paprika or Rózsa paprika.
Eros paprika is purely used in Hungarian cuisine to add heat and flavor to stews, soups, and other dishes. When using Eros paprika in recipes, it’s essential to use it sparingly and adjust the amount according to personal preference, as it can be pretty hot.
Hungarian paprika can range from mild to spicy, depending on the type and region it originates from. They include sweet, hot, and smoked paprika, which offers a diverse range of flavors and heat levels. You can find the perfect balance of heat and flavor for your culinary creations by experimenting with different types of this vibrant spice.
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