Leutschauer Paprika: A Hungarian Heirloom with a Twist
If you’re a fan of paprika, the Leutschauer Paprika pepper is a must-try. Originating from Leutschau, Slovakia, this pepper made its way to the Matra mountains of northern Hungary in the 1800s and has been a staple in Hungarian cuisine ever since. Unlike the dried paprika spice you might be familiar with, the fresh Leutschauer Paprika pepper offers a unique culinary experience.
Flavor Profile and Heat Level
The Leutschauer Paprika pepper is not going to blow anyone away with heat. Think of it as a flavor bomb. A classic Hungarian hot paprika, it has a smoky and spicy-sweet taste. Fresh peppers are incredibly flavorful and have a sweet aroma and crisp texture. Even though it is referred to as a hot paprika, the heat level is around 1,000 Scoville Heat Units, making it milder than a Jalapeño but spicier than a Cubanelle. If you’re someone who enjoys the moderate heat of a Red Cherry Sweet, this pepper will fit right into your garden and kitchen.
What do you do with Leutschauer paprika peppers?
This pepper is perfect for all sorts of culinary uses. We have all experienced the generic paprika powder that does nothing but add some color to Aunt Bobbie’s watery deviled eggs. There is a reason this pepper is so popular in eastern Europe. Sautéing the pepper will bring out much flavor. Likewise, cooked in various traditional Hungarian dishes is a perfect way to highlight the perks of this pepper.
For traditional paprika, it will be more flavorful when made fresh. Dehydrate then grind to a powder. Core the pepper for less heat. Keep the placental material in the center of the pepper if you want a bit more heat. At only 1K SHU, even with the heat, the paprika should not be offensively hot to anyone. For truly flavorful paprika, break out the smoker. Yum!
It’s also well-suited for making pepper jelly or a spicier version of red pepper coulis. The Leutschauer Paprika is rich in vitamins A, C, and B-complex, and its bright red color comes from phytonutrients called carotenoids, which offer strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Growing Conditions and Characteristics
Leutschauer Paprika pepper plants are short, erect, and grow up to 2 feet high. They are fast-growing and very productive, requiring staking or some type of support as they become heavy with fruit. The peppers mature from green to bright red and are nearly three inches long and one and a half inches wide. They have thin walls, making them ideal for drying. The plant is disease and drought-resistant, much like other favorites such as the Brown Jalapeño.
So, if you’re looking to diversify your pepper collection, the Leutschauer Paprika is a fantastic addition. Its unique flavor and moderate heat level make it a versatile choice for a variety of culinary applications.