Botanical Name: Capsicum annuum
- English: Paprika Spanish
Parts Used: Pods
Paprika is a powder made from grinding the pods of various kinds of Capsicum annuum peppers. Used for flavor and color, it is the fourth most consumed spice in the world and often appears in spice mixes. Hungarian Paprika and Spanish Pimento are spices made from Capsicum peppers. Capsicum peppers range in variety from sweet, like the American bell pepper, to hot chili peppers. Well, there are two kinds of Spanish paprika: smoked and unsmoked. Smoked paprika is known as Pimentón de la Vera; it's named after the region where the peppers are grown.
Traditionally, to make Hungarian paprika, peppers are strung together and hung to air dry. After the peppers dry out, they are stemmed, seeded, and ground. To create Pimento in Spain, the peppers are dried slowly, a process that takes about two weeks, over slow-burning oak. Rotated daily during the drying process, when done they are stemmed, seeded, and stone ground. The Spanish drying process gives the Pimento its distinctive smoky flavor. Pimentón de la Vera is essential to giving Spanish chorizo its characteristic smokiness.
To get the flavor of paprika, it needs to be heated in a moist environment, preferably oil, to really release its flavor. But as paprika burns quickly, don't let it spend more than a few seconds in hot oil before adding something water-based.
How to use:
As a spice.
You should consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using any herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
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