Paprika

The spice Paprika is made from grinding of dried sweet red bell peppers. This seasoning is used in many cuisines to add color and flavor to dishes. In some countries, the name paprika actually refers to bell peppers in general.

Paprika is used as an ingredient in a broad variety of dishes throughout the world, seen especially in Hungary, Serbia, Spain, Croatia and Turkey. Paprika (‘pimenton’ in Spain, ‘colorau’ in Portugal, ‘ciltoma’ in Nicaragua) is principally used to season and color rice, stews and soups such as goulash. Paprika is used in the preparation of sausages as an ingredient that is mixed with meats and other spices. Paprika can also be smoked for additional flavor.

There is a similar powdered spice in India that comes from a fruit locally called ‘deghi mirchi’, which is grown widely and takes on a slightly different flavor depending on local soil and climatic conditions.

The hottest paprikas are not the bright ones, but rather the palest red and light brown colored ones.

There are several different types of Hungarian paprika ranging from Special Quality to delicate to Half-Sweet and Hot. Special Quality paprika is the mildest and the brightest red of all Hungarian paprikas and has an excellent aroma. Noble Sweet is the most commonly exported paprika as it is bright red and slightly pungent. Eros or Hot Paprika is light brown in color and is the hottest of all paprikas.

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