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My Quest for Hungarian Paprika - Spice Jungle Recommendation

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    My Quest for Hungarian Paprika - Spice Jungle Recommendation

    I've run low on paprika, so I wanted to buy at least one pound to tide myself over for a while.

    Amazon seems to only carry "Hungarian style" . I didn't notice the style at first, but that annoyed me once I noticed it, and clearly the reviews reflect it, as you can see folks indicating it is not very good.

    https://www.amazon.com/McCormick-Cul...dp/B008OGCRSU/

    https://www.amazon.com/Szeged-Sweet-...dp/B00WU1OCWO/

    And, I just couldn't get comfortable with Happy Belly Amazon brand for $7.

    https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Brand-...dp/B07QTK7YYQ/

    Costco didn't carry it, Walmart didn't carry it, so I'm off to online.

    The Spice House is ~$30/pound https://www.thespicehouse.com/produc...-sweet-paprika

    Spice Inc not in stock https://www.spicesinc.com/p-27-hunga...t-paprika.aspx

    Spiceology wants $64 a pound. https://spiceology.com/products/papr...ian-glass-jar/

    I finally run across Spice Jungle, which is $18.75 a pound and smoked, with free shipping and they gave me a 5% coupon. It is clearly marked as sourced from Hungary, and its website actually provides useful information. Apparently, the cheaper paprika comes from Peru!

    https://www.spicejungle.com/smoked-s...garian-paprika

    Then, as I do, I wondered around the website and found some cool salts, which I promptly ordered.

    This cool coffee-flavored salt:

    Our purest white sea salt is utterly transformed into dark, Americano-colored grains after we infuse them with finely ground coffee beans. The result is a wet, bittersweet salt that is salty, yes, but also intensely coffee-flavored. Regardless of the high moisture content this salt has the ability to retain its structure. It’s this and the flavor that makes it so desired amongst chocolatiers and pastry chefs. Added to truffles and ganache-enveloped cakes it adds both coffee and salt: two flavors that naturally enhance the flavor of chocolate.


    and this hickory smoked one.

    Cold smoking versus hot smoking: what’s the difference? In cold smoking, the purpose is to flavor a food with smoke. The heat ranges from around 90 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The burning wood is held in another chamber and the smoke is pumped in to where evaporated sea salt basks in the smoldering aroma. A hot smoke means the food is getting cooked and flavored simultaneously. The food sits in the same chamber with the burning wood and temperatures range between 165 and 185 Fahrenheit. Hot smoking salt causes it to cook and become brittle, and the flavor to become metallic and bitter (like putting on an old penny on your tongue). Our smoked salt is carefully cold-smoked to ensure that the salt retains its textural pop when you bite into it while ensuring smoke seeps into every crystalline crevice. This sea salt was smoked low and slow, like a barbequed brisket done right. You can see it in the tea-colored crystals and smell it in the aroma. The hickory wood used to smoke it a wild, country smell that you could describe as dusty or barnyard-y. You’ll recognize the unique smell of hickory from some of your favorite Kansas City-style barbeque places where the telltale perfume ignites off of hickory-grilled steaks and ribs. If you’re planning to cure your own bacon, add an extra hit of smoke by rubbing it with a bit of this hickory smoked sea salt. It adds dimensions of both fresh and aged smoke that you won’t be able to find in any store.


    Anyway, shipping looks to be a bit delayed, but will share some pics when it arrives. I am also getting low on pepper, so will probably order some good peppercorns ( https://www.spicejungle.com/salt-pepper/peppercorns) in the near future.

    Has anyone used a peppercorn blend ( https://www.spicejungle.com/five-peppercorn-melange ), or smoked peppercorns (https://www.spicejungle.com/smoked-black-peppercorns) in a rub?

    I thought I'd flag Spice Jungle as a solid place for spices, given its informative website, and very competitive pricing.



    Last edited by STEbbq; July 10, 2021, 03:10 PM.

    #2
    I buy my paprika an Chile powder both from Spice Jungle. I really like their quality, availability, and price.

    Comment


      #3
      Interesting. We grow Spanish and Hungarian varieties to smoke, dry then grind. I haven't found a noticeable difference between ours and the ones I've tasted from Spain, but it would be fun to compare the Hungarian varieties. Thanks for the link and review.

      Comment


      • 58limited
        58limited commented
        Editing a comment
        That's cool. You should send me some

      • CaptainMike
        CaptainMike commented
        Editing a comment
        Remind me in September 58limited.

      #4
      Thanks fer postin'.

      Comment


        #5
        I've used Szeged brand Hungarian Paprika for years and years, both the sweet and the hot varieties. I make chicken paprikash (upon request) nearly every time the kids come to visit, and still get rave reviews after all these years. I make it spicy with the Hungarian Hot Paprika. For BBQ rubs, I use the sweet variety.

        I did notice the change in the Szeged brand back several years ago, but the quality did not seem to be compromised. In fact, I brought both sweet and hot paprika back from Hungary when we visited there about 4 years ago, and could not really appreciate a difference. Recently I bought the Szeged brand, and I opted for the true Hungarian paprika which they are now selling once more.

        Were you looking specifically for smoked paprika, as opposed to the sweet or hot unsmoked varieties? If so, Rancho Gordo sells a delicious smoked paprika-- authentic Spanish pimenton which will knock your socks off. Here's the link for that: https://www.ranchogordo.com/collecti...anish-pimenton. I brought pimenton back from Spain the last time we were there, and this is as good or better than the real deal that I hauled back in my suitcase.

        I don't use smoked paprika unless a recipe or application specifically calls for it. Usually I prefer to use the Sweet or the Hot Hungarian varieties unless I want a smoky vibe without using my smoker.

        Kathryn

        Comment


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          And I always used Szeged as well, until I found Spice Jungle. I prefer their paprika, even if it isn’t actually authentic Hungarian. My mother went to Hungary a couple years ago and brought back some fantastic paprika, but it’s hard to find anything in the grocery stores here that is even close. Probably due to how long it sits in the warehouse, I suspect.

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          No, ecowper , there are no Hungarians that I know of in our family tree. I just like spicy food and Hungarian Hot Paprika has been a favorite ever since I started doing my own cooking in college. My mom never used any spice except salt and pepper, by and large, so it was fun to find a spice world out there when I left home.

          Kathryn

        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          I was wondering … very few people in the US that are not of Hungarian descent know what chicken paprikash is. I make my grandmother’s recipe, which is sweet paprika plus cream and sour cream, rather than hot paprika.

        #6
        Thanks Kathryn. fzxdoc

        From our perspective, we've always had Hungarian paprika around, with the smoked, sweet, and hot varieties all taking turns, usually with the Szeged brand. We've valued the flavor, and of course, the rich color it adds. Admittedly, we've never tried the cheaper versions (at least in recent memory), but I understand you lose a lot of flavor and color.

        The goal here was to do a bulk purchase of a favorite spice at a lower price per oz than what we'd typically pay with those small spice containers. You might have noticed that I've been gradually upgrading my components and BBQ tools over time as they either die (the original cheaper versions which I then upgrade), or I find the need for one given routine BBQ tasks. Today's task was paprika.

        I did see the true Szeged link you posted, but at $66/pound, it was more than I wanted to invest. The Rancho Gordo link looks cool though, so I will save that link for future reference.

        From our perspective, we've found the smoky paprika adds an additional layer of flavor and certainly has never detracted from any of the dishes we've used it in, including many BBQ rubs over the years that may have specified sweet. It's improved dishes that would be done in the oven and thus have no smoke, and for smoked meats, the smoky flavor may be a bit more lost with the actual smoke from the smoker being more prominent, but I tend to think it can only help.

        I would have probably bought just the sweet paprika ( https://www.spicejungle.com/sweet-hungarian-paprika ), which SJ also carried, but since the smoked & sweet version was essentially the same price, I thought that was a bonus from my perspective.


        I also realize this is very recipe specific and we don’t really make any traditional Hungarian dishes but more BBQ , American etc.







        Last edited by STEbbq; July 10, 2021, 08:02 PM.

        Comment


        • STEbbq
          STEbbq commented
          Editing a comment
          I take that back. They primarily sell olive oil and balsamic vinegar?!

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          Sounds like you're set for good paprika for a while. I'm going to take a look at the Spice Jungle site. Thanks for the tip!

          And it's good to know that smoky paprika works well in rubs. I've held back, not sure if the smoke flavor in the paprika would muddle the taste. And you're right, those Hungarian paprikas sure bring a great color to food as well.

          K.

        • STEbbq
          STEbbq commented
          Editing a comment
          Since shipping was free, I added some Hungarian sweet paprika as well. It will all get used!

        #7
        Thanks STEbbq and also to ecowper and the kind and awesome fzxdoc. These recommendations are most helpful and am grateful to each of you! Buying spices (and good paprika) have been challenges, now solved thanks to you all.

        Comment


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          You’re absolutely welcome. I love Spice Jungle and find that their quality and price is excellent.

        • fzxdoc
          fzxdoc commented
          Editing a comment
          You're very welcome, and thank you for the compliment! I'm blushing.

          Enjoy that Spanish pimenton, should you happen get it from the Rancho Gordo site. But beware, their fresh dried beans (as opposed to the up to 2 year old ones most often found in grocery stores) can be addicting too.

          Kathryn
          Last edited by fzxdoc; July 11, 2021, 08:24 AM.

        #8
        ecowper ever tried those peppercorns? I am thinking they would be pretty cool for pastrami , steak, or burgers.
        Last edited by STEbbq; July 10, 2021, 07:55 PM.

        Comment


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          I haven’t yet …. But now that you mention it!

        • STEbbq
          STEbbq commented
          Editing a comment
          I am thinking ordering a mix of sizes for all three so I have enough regular peppercorns as needed then I can customize a few rubs with the new ones on a one-off basis and see how they do.

        #9
        STEbbq and ecowper , thanks for turning me on to Spice Jungle. I can already see that I'll be working the credit card on that site.

        Kathryn

        Comment


        • ecowper
          ecowper commented
          Editing a comment
          Always happy to help you spend your money!

        #10
        Spices arrived! Ordered on Saturday and arrived on Wednesday and Thursday so far quicker than the 10 day delay on the site.

        They all smell amazing. The Spice Jungle sweet tastes a bit better than the Szegen but that's probably due to age. The smoked sweet has a very mlld smoked flavor to it. And you can see the difference in colors. The pic goes left to right : Szegen, SJ sweet, and SJ sweet and smoked

        I love the salts though. Huge flavor hit and taste great sprinkled on cookies.
        Attached Files

        Comment


          #11
          IMHO the only black pepper worth bothering with is telicherry black.

          I ran across a recipe somewhere for bourbon smoke pepper that I will try at some point.

          Comment

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