Spicy village: residents of Velyka Dobron produce 150 tons of paprika every season
The village of Velyka Dobron in Uzhgorod district of Transcarpathia is a Ukrainian paprika capital. A special variety of red peppers is cultivated here on hectares of land, and ground pepper amounts to hundreds of kilograms. Fragrant and colorful spices - ground pepper - is not just the main income of the village, but already a real brand: Dobron paprika spices dishes not only in Transcarpathia.
The production of spices is not an easy process, paprika must be taken care of for almost entire year - from January to November, but it's worth the efforts: paprika has become a true symbol of the village. Velyka Dobron is the only place in Ukraine where this delicious and healthsome pepper is grown in such amount. The elegant vegetable has more respect than the famous local early potatoes, because now paprika, farmers say, is bringing more profit.
Thus, work with pepper lasts year-round, stresses farmer Vasyl Guidi, but right now Dobron most colorful chilli is already collected, and bright pepper adorns almost every mansion. He spends his tour at his own farm and neighbors' yards and says, in garlands the pepper not only dries - strung on thread or collected in nets - the vegetable ripens and becomes brighter.
His wife Mrs. Agi, sorting the remains of the harvest collected yesterday, admits: of the all works (and in Dobron it's not customary to have just a "vegetable garden", it's an honour to deal with a large-scale agricultural production!) the most preferable one is with pepper: it is clean, beautiful, and has a pleasant scent.
Mr. Vasyl says: "Yes, Dobron paprika is our brand! This pepper is harvested only here. Generally, this pepper is typical for cuisine of the Balkans, Spain, and of course Hungary. In Slavic cuisine - it is not so widely used, but here in Transcarpathia we have very good sales - it gives better profit than the primary vegetable - spring potatoes, after which fields are normally planted with pepper."
But before you sell the finished pepper one should involve much more efforts. Season starts back in January, when we are planting seeds. Then pepper bushes are settled under the film, in greenhouses, and ripen there under caring supervision of Dobron farmers who by the way tested a new elite seeds this year and the result was very satisfying. The owner says that thay start collecting their harvest in mid-August. Paprika ripens after it is collected, then it dries, and then it is milled.
Up to 150 tons - that amount of paprika is produced annually by hardworking Dobron (it is a ready-made spice made of dried and ground pepper!). In high season the village is decorated with red pepper. But most incredible flavor is felt in the place where peppers are converted into actual spice. His harvest Mr. Vasyl gives to his neighbour who had arranged a special paprika mill. Pepper goes through the machine for several times and turns into the well-known paprika - colorful scented powder which is the best adornment of each dish. The work is in its full swing and it seems that the facilities for grinding, and the worker himself are unlikely to lose thair flavors and bright colors very soon...
The farmer also cannot imagine his meals without paprika, and, of course, has his favorite dishes. Firstly, these are holubtsi (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice) - smiles Mr. Vasyl. And secondly - a variety of traditional Hungarian paprikash dishes: chicken, beef, pork, and in every dish - at least a spoon of pepper to be added for taste and color! However, farmers do not suggest recipes. They are convinced that this spice complements any cuisine and any dish. Moreover, nutritionists have already called paprika a record holder for vitamin C content. And in the "spicy village" say that paprika which is their brand is the best appetizer!
More photos - in material by Jozsef Kish
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