In autumn when paprika ripens the fields are "flaming", the houses in and near Kalocsa are dressed in scarlet; the famous spice paprika - or as it is also called the 'red gold' of Kalocsa is being dried by the aurulent autumn sunshine; which is not only a marvellous sight for the visitor but also a significant source of living for the local residents.
Paprika travelled a long way while it crossed the ocean from South-America and - due to the help of the Turks - found a home along River Danube and became the "most Hungarian" spice as well as an indispensable ingredient of the Hungarian cuisine.
Visitors are offered Hungarian snacks in the Kalocsa House of Folk Art. They can discover the secret of paprika, the famous spice of Kalocsa, or as it is also called the "red gold". The first Paprika Museum of the world gives home to the centuries-old tools of cultivation.
The next spot is the paprika field where the farmer's wife is offering delicious home-made brandy to the "workers", then the real paprika harvest can begin according to the farmer's instructions, during which fine wine and scones are given to the diligent harvesters; after this the participants can acquire the expertise of stringing paprika and they can keep the strings they make as a souvenir.
Depending on the season there is an opportunity to take a look at the different stages of processing, for instance drying and milling paprika. Following this the guests are treated with special paprika dishes and some light wines of the Great Plain at a Hungarian Inn. The craftsmen presenting old trades in the backyards of the taverns provide exciting experience.
Kalocsa town is famous for its ’red gold’ or as better known spice paprika. We have the Turks to thank for this traditional herb. The locals discovered that the climate, the sunny summers and the farmlands in the Kalocsa Region make an excellent basis for the production of the plant which had been introduced in Hungary at the time of the Turkish occupation. Thus this marvellous herb, which is hardly used in Turkey nowadays, could become a world-famous Hungarian product typically grown in the Kalocsa Region.
The aristocratic cuisine adopted numerous paprika dishes from peasant cooking thanks to their variousness, uniqueness and - last but not least - special colour and aroma. Nowadays Hungarian cuisine cannot be imagined without these dishes (e.g. goulash, stews, etc…) made from paprika.