Pepper Hunter Adores the Sweetheart Alma Paparika Pepper

Pepper Hunter examines Alma Paprika today. I love these prolific heart-shaped sweet peppers for paprika which remind me of Valentie's on a bush. They begin as ivory as old parchment and change to a bright shiny red.

The pepper measures 3 to 4 inches long and about 2 to 3 inches wide. Alma paprika peppers are thick-walled with a sweet and succulent flesh when young and white.

As the pepper matures and changes colors, the spiciness develops and when fully mature and red, the Alma paprika pepper has a Scoville rating of 1000-2000.

The Alma paprika pepper, a pimento-type pepper, is an heirloom variety known best for drying and grinding. There is a more spicy or hot version of the Alma paprika.

My Alma Paprika always are heavy produces and need their light and water. I grow them in raised beds in my greenhouse because I want them to ripen as far as they can on the vine in the greenhouse. I then bring them in for the final dramatic color by pulling up the whole plant and hanging it upside down. During fall one will see thousands of colorful peppers of all types, colors and shapes finishing off inside at Shepherds Heart Farm. This year I will string them on fishing line.

It the Alma gets stressed by to much heat or lack or water or to much water she will get the typical aphid attack. This year I will let loose some lady bugs and let them feast, Otherwise, I deal with aphids by way the hose nozzle, or a soapy water with peppermint. I make my soap concoction.

Alma’s are fairly early taking 80 days to ripen and I always reduce the water at the end of the season to encourage blushing.

It is also commonly known as the Sweet Apple paprika pepper; the name ‘Alma’ in Hungarian means “apple.” Botanically, the sweet yet slightly spicy peppers are classified as Capsicum annuum ‘Alma Paprika’. The term ‘paprika’ is synonymous with the Spanish word ‘pimento’ or the English ‘cherry pepper.’

Paprika is also the name for the spice made from dried and ground peppers, most often using pimento varieties. Fresh pimento, or paprika, peppers have yet to gain popularity as a fresh market pepper and are most often grown for grinding into spice. This is how I prefer to use my sweetheart’s.

Alma paprika peppers, like other pimento peppers, contain vitamins A and C, folate, and high amounts of vitamin K. The creamy white immature Alma paprika peppers, don’t contain nearly the amount of vitamin A as the fully mature, red peppers.

Alma paprika peppers can be used fresh or they can be dried and ground to make a slightly sweeter paprika spice. Stuff Alma paprika peppers can also be stuffed. The bite-sized peppers can be added whole to anti-pasta salads or deseeded and sliced in green salads. The cream-colored peppers can be roasted to enhance the flavor and soften the pepper. Use Alma paprika peppers in place of red peppers for pimento cheese, the popular Southern American spread and dip.

Alma paprika peppers can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator when loosely wrapped in plastic. The peppers can also be preserved in vinegar brine or canned.

The spice commonly known as ‘paprika’ is made from dried, ground pimento peppers, namely the Alma paprika pepper. Paprika is predominantly made in Spain, Hungary, California and South America. Hungarian paprika is considered to be the best in the world. In Hungary, paprika is a staple in the kitchen and is an essential ingredient in the traditional Hungarian goulash, or gulyás, as well as pörkölt, a meat stew, and paprikás, which translates to chicken with paprika. I love my paprika in my Armenian Cassarole.

Also known as the Hungarian Hot Apple Pepper, the Alma Spicy Paprika Pepper is a thick-walled cherry type pepper that is perfect for drying and grinding. Fruits start out creamy white, then to orange and are red when fully mature.

Fresh is best so try these sweethearts, the Alma Paprika for your sweet paprika.