How can you make a proper Hungarian Goulash without lots and lots of paprika? Gourmet chefs around the world are facing this conundrum as Hungarian paprika becomes a scarce commodity. Contamination is the culprit but the victims were the millions world wide who depend on this unique spice’s flavor. While some are scrambling to find reasonable substitutes, but before you toss that red pepper wonder from your pantry, the ban only affects certain paprikas of a certain date range from Hungary.
And who can ignore the cries of tomato lovers everywhere, beginning to feel the pinch of a shortage of that red delight? Severe weather in California and Florida has chefs everywhere seeing red as rising tomato prices cause them to be more creative in eliminating that juicy fruit from their creations. Just think about how many recipes require tomato sauce and you’ll understand why they’re sobbing in Little Italy’s everywhere.
Shortages of things red is not unusual. The Red Cross frequently laments a shortage in the country’s blood supply, and while the recent World Series certainly wasn’t short of red ballplayers, St. Louis fans ended up feeling redless in the end. A red tide caused a shortage of clams in Massachusetts a few months ago; the red snapper shortage has spawned some sleight-of-hands trickery to meet supply, yet there’s seemingly no limit to red ink as record numbers of businesses and individuals file for bankruptcy.
So is the common thread of “red” in all these events significant? Is our world slowly becoming redless? Last weekend I took a walk to discover whether my small corner of world had also become redless or alive and red for the noticing, and I discovered there’s no shortage of the crimson crush around my neck of the woods.