Hungarian people love peppers and we can find dozens of varieties in the market halls of Budapest. We can find tiny, hot peppers, red peppers for paprika powder and several variations of wax peppers too.
Hungary’s favourite pepper is definitely “TV paprika” aka wax pepper which is a Hungarian pepper variety. We can find it in various sizes and prices. There are sweet ones, hot ones, softer or harder ones. The name “TV” comes from the words Tölteni való which mains for stuffing.
The green ones are usually hot while the pale yellows and red ones are sweet. The orange coloured ones are normally sweet but they can be both.
Wax pepper makes perfect salads or crispy additions to sandwiches, cold plates. Wax peppers and tomatoes are often added to Goulash and Porkolt too, as they give a nice taste to the sauce.
Get to know the best Hungarian meals and snacks at one of the Market Tours.
For a tasty stuffed pepper, we do not need the freshest paprika, we can take the bit softer ones as they will do the job perfectly. Paprikas are washed and stuffed with a mixture of meat and rice. It has to be cooked in tomato sauce and they often taste sweetish. Hungarians eat it with cooked potatoes and it is a popular meal at the school canteens.
A paprika based beloved summer food is Lecsó which is similar to the French ratatouille, but more juicy and simple. To make Lecso, we need peppers, onions and tomatoes and some spoon of oil.
Chopped onions are sauteed in a pan with some oil or lard then cooked with dozens of cubed tomatoes and paprika slices. It is so quick and simple that, this is the whole recipe with salt and pepper (maybe garlic if you like).
Lecso is often eaten with bread or rice and sometimes it is enriched with bacon or other meat. Lecso is a beloved summer meal.