It's as red as blood and, for the traditional Hungarian chef, no less essential for a healthy life.
But humble paprika - national spice and integral to all the most treasured Hungarian dishes - has been having a rough time.
Hungarian paprika production has slumped as buyers across the world have turned to cheaper supplies from Spain, China and Latin America.
And two years of unpredictable weather in Hungary may mean this year's crop of capsicum annuum peppers - the raw ingredient of paprika - is the poorest in 50 years.
Horror of horrors, Hungary may even resort to importing the crop.
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What one line do you find in nearly every savory recipe? “Season with salt and pepper.”
But not all salts and peppers are created equal. Here are 12 we like to cook with.
Most sea salt comes from seawater held in large, shallow ponds or large pans. As the water evaporates—naturally or by heating—coarse salt crystals fall to the bottom. The crystals are then collected by raking. We sprinkle sea salt on salad, meat, and cooked vegetables just before serving so that it maintains its satisfying crunch. Our favorite, Maldon Sea Salt, has especially delicate, crunchy flakes.
It's a meticulous harvest which forbids the use of a spade, let alone tractors.
Crouched deep within a field full of purple crocuses, groups of villagers come together every year for a back-breaking fortnight, harvesting saffron.
With great precision, and grubby fingernails, flowers containing the rare, precious spice are snapped away from the stems and dropped inside white buckets.
Yo mama's cinnamon is so old, its UPC code is "1."
Yo mama's thyme is so old, they used it to season the Last Supper.
Yo mama's cloves are so old, the bottle has a Brontosaurus steak recipe on the side.
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