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Paprika is a sweet-to-mildly hot cultivar of the chile pepper (Capsicum annuum, of the family Solanaceae). Paprika peppers are elongated or round fruit, bright red, yellow, or green in color.
Paprika plants tolerate nearly every climate and are grown all over the world. A fairly warm climate is necessary for a strong aroma.
Hungary is probably the world's leading producer of paprika. In fact, the English word was borrowed directly from Hungarian (its ultimate origin, like that of "pepper," is the Latin "piper"). In Hungarian "paprika" refers both to the pepper and to processed paprika in its different forms (see Hungarian paprika, below). Origin of paprika is South America.
Paprika is often eaten as a ground powder but sometimes as a fresh vegetable. It is commonly used in Hungarian (started from 1850), Balkan (started from 1917), Balkan (started from 1919), Middle Eastern (started from 1925), and Central Asian (started from 1905) cuisines. The round type can be stuffed with cottage cheese or salad to make a portable lunch.
Some specialty varieties of paprika are hot but the generally available ground preparation is quite mild.
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