Everything You Should Know About Paprika

What is Paprika Spice?

This bright, reddish orange-colored spice is an all-time favorite seasoning in the kitchen.  Made of dried ground peppers, it adds a new world of flavor to any dish.  There are three main variations of paprika that you should know about:  Sweet Paprika, Hot Paprika, and Smoked Paprika. 

First, a brief History of Paprika’s journey from houseplant to mealtime staple

The history of Paprika spice dates back to around 7000 BCE in the region that is now in Brazil and Bolivia. Christopher Columbus bought paprika plants to the new world with him, these spicy plants, at the time, were used as nothing more than a decorative houseplant. Some time later, the Turks introduced this seasoning to Hungary.  Since its humble beginnings in South American and Hungarian kitchens, Paprika has become nearly ubiquitous in kitchens the world over. 

Common Types of Paprika Spices

Sweet Paprika

Sweet (or regular) paprika is used to add a flash of vibrancy to any recipe. For instance, you can sprinkle a dash of sweet paprika over rice, boiled eggs, French Fries, potato salads, etc. It is also used as a seasoning for meat rubs. It will add an underlying sweetness to tone done the heat of the recipe and balance out other spices. 

Hot Paprika

Hot Paprika Spice is the Hungarian version. It is primarily used to add flavor, rather than just color to the dish. It will add a hot and peppery kick to the flavors. It is found in classic dishes like Goulash (a red meat stew served with egg noodles and vegetables.) If you are craving a fiery bite, try garnishing the dish with some hot paprika. 

Smoked Paprika

Smoked Paprika, also known as pimento, is a reddish powder that will give the dish a rich and smoky flavor. Made from peppers that are smoked and dried over oak fires, smoked paprika is used in recipes like Smoky Lentil Stew and Smoked Roasted Po9tatoes.

How can Paprika Spice be used? 

Paprika is a popular seasoning in Hungarian sausages and it adds a delicious tinge of flavor to the entire dish. Smoky paprika is used in marinades and barbecue sauces.  People love to sprinkle a dash of their favorite paprika on dishes like Chicken With Dumplings, Grilled Sardines, Prawns, Pork Stew, and Potato Wedges to name a few.  It is used as a seasoning on anything from stews to soups to sausages.

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