Alternative name: Pimenton
Paprika is a spice made from grinding the dried sweets fruits of the capsicum annum plant (e.g., bell peppers or chilli peppers). Originating in South America where peppers were a staple of the local Indian diet, it was the arrival of Columbus in 1492 that would lead to their export back to Europe. Here, first the Spanish and later the Hungarians dried and ground the fruit to create what we now recognise as paprika. Its popularity increased with its recognition as a more affordable alternative to the heat provided by the more elitist and expensive peppercorn
To give the paprika it’s signature smoked taste and aroma Spanish farmers select ripe, freshly harvested peppers in the autumn and then place them in purpose-built smoke-houses heated by slow-burning oak wood. Smoked paprika should be used more sparingly than the non-smoked varieties, as it tends to be more intense. It is an indispensable ingredient of Spanish chorizo sausage, and is great with vegetarian food, providing a robust barbequed-like flavour. Mix with mayonnaise to provide something a bit different or sprinkle on your cheese sandwich just before heating in a grill pan.
Produce of Spain