Have you heard of Erős Pista and Édes Anna? They are not living celebrities, but they are the brand names of the most popular Hungarian red pepper paste. Erős Pista (translates as ‘Strong Steve’) is a hot pepper paste, Édes Anna (translates as ‘Sweet Anne’) indicates the sweet version of paprikakrém. Red pepper paste is omnipresent in lunch canteens, Hungarian restaurants and in home kitchens, many people stir it into fish soup, gulyás, meat stews and lecsó, or spread some on roasted pork or chicken cutlest.
Store-bought paprikakrém tastes fine, but homemade pepper paste has no equal. Making Hungarian red pepper paste is a good way to process a large number of peppers. It’s an easy recipe and you can use this pepper paste in so many different dishes. Paprikakrém is raw, the key ingredient is salt that preserves it for months. I add citric acid too, which saves the pepper’s beautiful vibrant red colour.
Hungarian red pepper paste is usually made from pritamin paprika and/or kápia paprika. Pritamin paprika peppers are one of the highest vitamine C peppers with a pleasant sweetness and with a thick, succulent flash. Due to its high sugar content and specific flavor, it is very popular in Hungary to eat fresh. Kápia paprika is a native of Eastern Europe, a tapered pepper with a brilliant red colour and distinctive sweetness.
You can make this red pepper paste with many different kinds of peppers. It can be bell peppers or any kind you can get. Feel free to add some heat by using a combination of hot and mild peppers or just use mild or just use hot. You can mix it up however you want.