Pirot Black Paprika

Vegetables and vegetable preserves - Serbia

Pirot black paprika has been growing for centuries into villages alongside Nisava River in Pirot municipality: Krupac, Veliki Suvodol, Mali i Veliki Jovanovac. Pirot black paprika is mainly used for drying. It is small to medium size, triangular in shape. Its skin is red, shiny and relatively thick. Its 'meat' is relatively thin. There is a sweet and hot version, and production is from local seeds. Paprika needs lots of water and lots of sunshine to thrive. This variety is quick-drying and mold resistant. It is dried from August to October, threaded in wreaths, at windy and dry place, usually under the eaves of the house, exposed to sunlight and heat. Paprika is used fresh or dried, for the preparation of meals and salads, as a supplement to meals or spice. Dried paprika is filled with a variety of fillings: cheese, vurda, strain curd milk, cabbage, beans, potatoes, rice, nuts or minced meat. In Dimitrovgrad this dish called plnena šušpa. Filled dried paprika can be appetizer (often with cooked brandy) or a main dish. Dry paprika is mainly used as a spice – whole or crushed. Dried whole paprika is added to soups and stewed dishes of vegetables. Crushed and fried in fat is added to ka?amak of yellow corn flour – posipan ka?amak. It is unavoidable, as a spice, in the onion and cabbage salads during summer (fresh cabbage) and winter (sauerkraut).   The production is limited to small farms vegetable gardens, from where it comes in small quantities exclusively to the local market in Pirot and Dimitrovgrad. It faces competition due to higher productivity and lower price from the modern varieties specialized for industrial processed dried milled pepper for seasoning and a heavier pepper with thick meat, both of which have caused changes in the aroma of local dishes.