Paprika, Gulash (1850)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Tue Mar 26 00:01:32 UTC 2002

by John Paget
Philadelphia: Lea & Blanchard
London: John Murray

   OED and M-W have 1866 for "goulash."

Pg. 261 (1850 edition):
   The _fogado_ (inn) at Barand was none of the best; the rooms were cold, there was nothing for supper, and the landlady was ill in bed; nevertheless, we soon got the stove heated, a good dish of _paprika hendel_ before us, and enjoyed a night of most luxurious sleep.  I do not think I have yet enlightened the reader as to the mystery of a _paprika hendel_; to forget it, would be a depth of ingratitude of which, I trust, I shall never be guilty.  Well, then, reader, if ever you travel in Hungary, and want a dinner or supper quickly, never mind the variety of dishes your host names, but fix at once on _paprika hendel_.  Two minutes afterwards, you will hear signs of a revolution in the _basse cour_; the cocks and hens are in alarm; one or two of the largest, and probably oldest members of their unfortunate little community, are seized, their necks wrung, and, while yet fluttering, immersed in boiling water.  Their coats and skins come off at once; a few unmentionable preparatory operations are rapidly despatched--probably under the traveller's immediate observation--the wretches are cut into pieces, thrown into a pot, with water, butter, flour, cream, and an inordinate quantity of red pepper, or paprika, and, very shortly after, a number of bits of fowl are seen swimming in a dish of hot greasy gravy, quite delightful to think of.  I have not yet quite made up my mind, whether this or the _gulyashas_--another national dish, made of bits of beef stewed in red pepper--is the best; and I therefore recommend all travellers to try them both.  These hot dishes suit the Hungarian: red pepper, the growth of Hungary, he considers peculiarly national; and, excepting ourselves, I believe he is the only European sufficiently civilized to know the full value of that most indispensable article of culinary luxury.

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