Paprika
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Paprika is a name given to any number dried and ground peppers of the Capsicum Annuum family. Paprika is made by drying and grinding these milder peppers. Though the peppers are natives of the Americas, it was the Turks who discovered the drying and grinding method and passed it on to the Hungarians (through conquest) in the 1600’s.

Today, Paprika is the national spice of Hungary but not exclusive to that country. In fact the Spanish make decent Paprika (usually less pungent than Hungarian Paprika) and even have some custom forms such as Pimentón, the Smoked Spanish Paprika which is often used for Paellas.  

There is a lot of variability in the intensity and flavor of Paprika depending on two main factors. The first depends on the age and how the ground Paprika was stored. The flavor and pungency in Paprika, as in many spices, comes from the natural Volatile Oils of the plant. These Volatile Oils can evaporate and do with age and prolonged exposure to air and/or heat.

The other main reason for variability in Paprika, is the selection of peppers chosen for grinding to make the Paprika. Peppers with more Capsicum will have more pungency but should never have as much kick as a Hot Pepper like a Habanero Pepper.

Season

Availability

Paprika is available all year round.

Cultivation

Production

Varieties

Purchasing

Storage

The best way to preserve the pungent punch of your Paprika is to store the ground Paprika in an air-tight container, like a glass jar, sitting in a cool dark place. Another good way to ensure great results is to grind (or buy) with spices like Paprika in smaller lots so that you are turning over your spice inventory at least every 6 months to a year.

Culinary Uses

Most used for Seasoning, chef’s work with Paprika to add color and flavor, though it can also serve to add a bit of Thickening as well. Paprika should not be overlooked as a Garnish, where it improves “Plate Appeal” either.

You will find Paprika featured prominently in traditional Hungarian dishes such as GoulashHungarian Sausages, and Paprikash.

Portion Size

Allow 1-2 t of Paprika per recipe.

Substitutes

Cayenne Pepper

Nutritional Value

Nutritional Value USDA
PAPRIKA
Amount Per 100g
Calories 282
%Daily Value*
 
18%
Total Fat 12g
1%
Saturated Fat 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
0%
Cholesterol 0mg
2%
Sodium 68mg
48%
Potassium 2280mg
17%
Total Carbohydrate 53g
136%
Dietary Fiber 34g
Sugars 10g
Protein 14g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition

Gluten Free

Yes

Low Fat

Yes

Low Calorie

Yes