The Cherry Paprika – A mild chili of sweet cherry-optics?
The cherry-paprika (capsicum annuum) has its origins in Hungary, although the original name comes from Mexico. This is a derivate of the word rattle, because of the characteristic sound the dried fruit makes when shaken. Today, the chili is widely spread in the Mexican and Hungarian cuisine and is also an important part of our antipasti.
Where does the cherry paprika actually come from?
Although the name is derivative of Mexican, the fruit is originally Hungarian. This is why it is also called Hungarian Cherry Pepper. Today it is cultivated in the depths of South America as well as in Hungary and is an important component of cultural meals.
The fruit of the Cherry Paprika
As the name already points out, the Chery Paprika looks oddly similar to a cherry. They grow between 1 and 3 cm in diameter and the thick pulp changes color from green to red during the maturing process. Sometimes brown or yellow breeds can make singular appearances. The fruit grows straight upwards on a bushy shrub of about 50 to 70 cm in height. The fruits are round and by comparison have many seeds. In the crown, you can find lots of fruits, which makes for a nice view of the balcony or garden, together with the white flowers which can be admired between the months of May and August.
The heat of the Cherry Paprika
Depending on the breed and the fruit, the heat of the Cherry Paprika can vary strongly. Normally it ranks between 1 and 5 on the international heat scale. This corresponds to 0 – 3000 Scoville. As a mild variant we have the Cherry Sweet whilst the Red Cherry Hot is the spicier variant.
Where is the Cherry Paprika cultivated?
As said before, Hungary and Mexico are the main cultivation regions for the Cherry Paprika. There, they are mostly cultivated in greenhouses. However, those who are looking for a challenge can set out and deal with the cultivation of the seeds, as many hobbyist gardeners today love to have the Cherry Paprika in their greenhouses, gardens or balconies. After about 9 days at room temperature, after they have been planted, the cherry chili germinates. At high humidity and temperatures of 22 to 25 degrees centigrade you can see the first leaves pop out after about 4 weeks.
Usage of the Cherry Paprika
The most beloved use of the Paprika around here is as antipasti. For that, the fruits are filled with fresh cheese or with sheep’s cheese and then pickled. Usually the fruit combines very well with cheese. In its cultivation regions, it is a very popular ingredient of culinary dishes and always a good choice, as the plant offers lots of possibilities.