The most fragrant varieties of pepper for paprika
Paprika is called a spicy powder obtained from dried and ground peppers of sweet or slightly sharp varieties. The cost of such a seasoning is low, and, it would seem, does not make much sense in making paprika with your own hands. But when you once feel the taste and rich aroma of homemade paprika, then you will forever lose the desire to buy this expressionless red powder in a store. In this article I will talk about special varieties of sweet and semi-hot pepper, which I grow in order to prepare delicious paprika for the winter.
This is the first variety from which I began to get acquainted with peppers of "paprika destination". At first glance, this pepper is absolutely identical to hot pepper. A characteristic difference of pepper is long thin pods of bright red color, which have fancy bends and are often intertwined. Taste pepper "Python" also significantly different from other sweet peppers, often called "Bulgarian".
It has a spicy expressive pulp, which can be described as bitter-sweet. The walls are thin and slightly succulent (2-3 millimeters), but still when consumed, even when fresh, they do not seem rough at all. Seeds also do not have the slightest point and do not interfere with their culinary use. Choosing them before use is completely unnecessary.
You can eat as unripe fruits of light green color, and fully ripe - bright red. The bushes of this pepper grow small (up to 40 centimeters), while they are so productive that they are literally “from head to toe” hung with pods that go down to the ground.
Another advantage of the Python pepper is early ripeness. When sowing the first peppers in March, we collect in June, and the entire crop has time to ripen on the bush. Due to the high yield and unmatched aroma, which can be described as spicy with tomato notes, I make the main blanks of homemade paprika from python peppers.
For the sake of experiment, I also tried to grow a variety. Cayenne Sweet. This is a sweet variety of the famous super-hot cayenne pepper. In the photo on the Internet, he looked exactly like a Python pepper. In reality, I did not notice any difference in taste, yield and appearance between the two varieties.
Therefore, it is likely that “Python” and “Cayenne Sweet” are the same variety. But even if this is not so, then for cultivation in order to prepare paprika, you can choose one of the two, the seeds of which will be more accessible.
I bought my first seeds of “Python” in an ordinary garden store, and I grew a completely different pepper, with an appearance and taste uncharacteristic for the variety. Therefore, I advise you to buy the seeds of this pepper from collectors, and subsequently do not forget to collect the seeds yourself.
Pasilla Baggio Pepper
The famous Mexican pepper "smoke". Strictly speaking, this pepper is not sweet, but slightly spicy. Nevertheless, the severity of this variety is negligible. Compared to classic chili peppers, its sweetness prevails over pungency, and its taste and aroma are incredibly rich. Therefore, the seasoning obtained from it may well be called “paprika”.
Pasilla Baggio Pepper (Pasia Bajio, Pasilla Bajio) forms long flat pods, in the phase of technical ripeness they are very bright dark emerald color, ripe fruits are distinguished by chocolate color, the surface at all stages of ripening is glossy, shiny.
As soon as the pod dries, it becomes so wrinkled that, due to its characteristic color, it very much resembles raisins, which is why the name of the variety originated (‘Pasilla’ in Spanish is “zest”).
The first thing that catches your eye when growing this pepper is huge powerful, very dense branched bushes covered with many pods. At first, peppers are green in color, and in this phase their taste is completely inexpressive and grassy. But as soon as the pods are fully ripe and brown, they can even be eaten from the bush.
For my taste, this is the most amazing pepper I've ever tasted, because it combines many shades of taste that are very difficult to describe. At the seasoning obtained from this pepper, I clearly feel the sweet smack of raisins, and smoky notes are present only in its aroma.
The most interesting thing is that until the middle of the pod this pepper feels sweet and spicy, but as soon as you approach the ovule (approximately from the middle of the fruit), the taste becomes sharper and sharper, and it is already difficult to eat it without wincing.
The fact is that the most burning part of the fruit is its seeds, and if you carefully select them before drying, then in fact you get paprika pepper with a minimum piquant pointy. But it is possible to process the pods with the seeds, and to reduce the sharpness, mix the finished seasoning with paprika from other varieties of pepper.
The main difficulty in growing Pasilla Baggio pepper is its late maturity. With such an abundance of the crop, unfortunately, not all pods have time to ripen. Keep in mind that to obtain a characteristic rich smoky taste, it is critical to collect fully ripened fruits that ripen on the bush with plenty of sunlight. The less mature the fruit, the less expressive the seasoning you get.
However, due to the high yield, with 3-5 bushes of pepper you can collect enough ripe brown-chocolate fruits, which are enough to prepare a large amount of seasoning. When growing this variety of pepper, also consider its high branching. So that the fruits receive as much sunlight as possible, do not plant seedlings too close to each other.
Pepper "Engraved Macedonian"
An amazing, incredibly original pepper, which differs from other varieties by the presence on the fruits of a large number of longitudinal stripes-cracks, as if someone had specially made engraving of the pods.
Translated from the Macedonian language, one of the variety names means "Embroidered Pepper". But the breeders who bred this variety did not at all set themselves the task of obtaining fruits of unusual appearance. The fact is that traditional peppers with a smooth surface give moisture worse and during drying can rot or mold.
Pepper "Engraved Macedonian" it was initially displayed with orientation on drying and subsequent preparation of paprika, because fruits with such cracked skin dry much easier and faster, while maintaining a bright taste and aroma.
Due to this feature, in the Balkans, this variety is considered the best for making paprika. This pepper is tall and reaches a height of 70 to 90 centimeters. Due to the fact that the bushes are quite high and shafted, they have to be tied up.
The yield of pepper is very high and huge clusters are formed on the bushes, consisting of many long painted pods of dark red color. Ripening period is late (from 120 to 130 days), but many pods have time to fully mature, and immature also do not decay when dried.
Pepper "Engraved Macedonian" is classified as medium-sharp varieties. But a distinctive feature of the variety is that the sharpness between the fruits is unevenly distributed. That is, from the same bush you can collect both pods with a very mild, slightly sharp taste, as well as truly burning specimens, which literally are tears from the eyes.
Therefore, before selecting paprika pods, you have to try them first, and since there are no lovers of pungent peppers in our family, you just have to toss out the burning fruits. Therefore, this variety is more suitable for spicy lovers.
How do i make homemade paprika
Best of all, the pods are dried in the form of a necklace, for which I string them on a thread, piercing the stem with a needle. To speed up the process, I sometimes use an electric dryer. In this case, pepper with thin walls can be dried in just one day.
I try to avoid drying in the oven, since it is very difficult to achieve the required minimum temperature there. Peppers can burn, and then the paprika will change its taste and lose its aroma.
When drying, it is better to avoid violating the integrity of the fruit, as this often leads to rotting of the pod.
To hang a necklace of pepper, choose the warmest room in the house. Peppers are ready to turn into seasoning when the pods completely lose their elasticity and will easily break with a characteristic crackle.
Then I remove the peppers from the string, tear off the stalks and break the pods into small pieces, which I put in a special blender mill designed to grind seasonings (but you can also use a coffee grinder).
By the way, sometimes tearing the stalk, I notice mold inside the pod, this most often happens with unripe fruits, so be careful when preparing the pepper for processing.
We use ready-made paprika very varied. This seasoning for soups, and breading for baking vegetables. Homemade paprika is ideal for pizza, pasta, and many other dishes. And sometimes I just take a can from a shelf and inhale this wonderful spicy aroma, recalling the hot summer.