Hot Hungarian Paprika - The Hottest, and Spiciest of the Eight to Choose From

As the name suggests, hot Hungarian paprika (erős) is the spiciest and hottest of the eight types available. Sweet, savoury and mild varieties, with other subtle variations in between, are also fabulous for adding flavour to your home cooking. As a big chili pepper fan, I prefer the hotter types, but all varieties have their place in your cooking.

Today this spice defines Hungarian cuisine, and is celebrated as a symbol of Hungary and a national treasure. There is even a Paprika Museum in the town of Kaloscsa, which hosts a festival every October.

picture of hot hungarian paprika peppers

It was brought into the country by the Turks in the 16th century, and originally used just as a decorative plant.

But it wasn't long before they began drying it and using it to spice up their meals.

The regions of Kalocsa and Szeged in southern Hungary produce the most, since they have the plentiful sunshine that pepper plants enjoy.

Hot Hungarian Paprika Pepper Classifications

There are actually eight varieties to choose from, ranging from sweet to savoury and very mild to very hot. And these are all rigorously classified...


  • Hot hungarian paprika, (erős), which is a brownish-orange colour
  • One of the most popular kinds is the mild "special quality" Különleges, which has a bright and pleasing red colour
  • "Delicate" (csípősmentes csemege) is also mild, but has a richer flavour than the special quality type
  • The "exquisite delicate" (csemege), is slightly spicier than the delicate
  • Next is the pungent "exquisite paprika", (csípős csemege), which is even stronger
  • The most common variety is the "noble sweet", (édesnemes), which is bright red, and slightly pungent
  • Then, there is the medium half-sweet paprika, (félédes)
  • Finally, there is the light red and mildly pungent "rose" (rózsa)

Traditional Hot Hungarian Paprika Information

In September, when the ripe fruits are harvested, the towns are all decorated with bright pepper garlands which are hung across fences and front porches.

Picture of paprika peppers drying on a porch

This was once done to let the peppers rest before drying them out in earthenware ovens.

Then, the dried pods were crushed into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.

Today, the powder is made commercially, but you can still get some made in the traditional manner.

The peppers are also available fresh or as a paste.

When you are cooking with this spice, you could use the Hungarian traditional method of adding it to hot oil to cook your onions.

Heat it gently, stir it constantly, and use it to make soups, many potato dishes, various stews or a traditional goulash, and enjoy! Click for my potato recipe.

If you enjoy using hot Hungarian paprika in your cooking, then have a quick look at my book. With easy-to-make recipes, it shows you step-by-step how to make spice mixes and blends from all around the world
Available as a digital book that you can download and start using right now. Click to read more.

More Links You May Enjoy

Return to main Paprika page

Return to Home

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

Search Our Site:

Click on the buttons above to follow me on your favourite social media:

The Herb & Spice
Mix Bible

Jason Pitcher

Search Our Site:

Sign up to my monthly newsletter and get a
FREE Book!

E-mail Address
First Name (optional)

Don't worry — your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you "Flavour at Your Fingertips".

Click on the buttons above to follow me on your favourite social media: