Eureka! Paprika!

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During the Age of Exploration, sailors on long voyages succumbed to

wobbly bones, teeth, and ultimately death because of scurvy. In the

1500s the indigenous people of Newfoundland cured sailors landing on

their shores with cedar needle tea. Finding a shipboard cure for

scurvy became a military matter of grave importance. In 1753 Navy

doctor James Lind proved that a steady diet of citrus was the cure.

Thereafter, for decade after decade, scientists attempted to

synthesize the miracle compound we know as Vitamin C.

For years Hungarian biochemist Albert Szent-Gyí¶rgyi tried to

isolate the compound. He recalled that one night his wife served him

fresh paprika for dinner. In his autobiography he wrote, “I

did not feel like eating it so I thought of a way out. Suddenly it

occurred to me that this is the one plant I had never tested. I took

it to the laboratory, and by midnight I knew that it was a treasure

chest full of Vitamin C.” Szent-Gyí¶rgyi lived in

Szeged, Hungary - the veritable home of paprika. He went on to receive

the Nobel Prize in 1937 for his discovery of Vitamin C and the

reactions of the citric acid cycle.

The beautiful package of dried paprika pods in your TakeHome box this

week were grown organically and air-dried by the sustainable farming

champions Kevin McEnnis and Keith Abeles of Quetzal Farm in Santa Rosa

(Sonoma County). Dried paprika, and especially sun-dried paprika,

retains an amazing amount of Vitamin C from the (Capsicum annuum)

peppers—twice the amount of lemon juice and 119% RDA.

Additionally, paprika improves circulation, aids digestion, and

contains antibacterial agents.

Beyond its healthy attributes, paprika is flavorful with a capital P

-- Pow! Paprika is the smokier and milder of the capsicum varieties.

The pods can be reconstituted and used in your favorite Hungarian

paprikash recipes. To reconstitute: cut off the stems and deseed, then

just cover with boiling water for 10 minutes. For powder: grind dried

pods in a spice grinder or food processor to create a vibrant powder.

If you are sensitive to peppers, be sure to don gloves when handling

them. Quetzal Farm has numerous pepper recipes on its website

{} for your very own gastronomic

discoveries and your own “ah-ha” or

“hooo-ah” moment.


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