Paprika, Capsicum annuum, is a sweet-to-mildly hot cultivar of the chile pepper of the family Solanaceae. It is cultivated for its fruit, which are dried and used as a spice or seasoning. C.annuum is a native of South America; however it is cultivated most extensively in Hungary. The word "paprika" can be used to describe both the fruit and the spice, though more commonly the spice.
Paprika variations Edit
Sweet Hungarian paprika Edit
Sweet Hungarian paprika has a full, sweet pepper flavor without the heat. It is a very high quality paprika from the Kalocsa region of Hungary bears the name Csemege, or “Exquisite Delicacy.” It earns a 120 ASTA color rating, and has a reputation as the most flavorful of all paprikas. Hungarian sweet paprika is the paprika of choice for such classic European dishes as goulash, chicken paprikash, stuffed bell peppers. It also makes a flavorful garnish for deviled eggs, potato or pasta salads, baked chicken or fish.
Hungarian half-sweet paprika Edit
Also called "Félédes" – This paprika is a blend of mild and pungent paprikas; medium pungency.
Hungarian hot paprika Edit
Hot in Hungarian is "Erős" – This paprika is light brown in color, and not surprisingly, the hottest paprika.
Pimentón, or smoked paprika Edit
In Spain, paprika is known as pimentón, and is quite different in taste; pimentón has a distinct, smokey flavor and aroma, as it is dried by smoking, typically using oak wood. Pimentón is a key ingredient in several Spanish sausage products, such as chorizo or sobrasada, as well as much Spanish cooking. Outside of Spain pimentón is often referred to as simply "smoked paprika" and can be found in varying intensities from sweet and mild (dulce), medium hot (agridulce), or very hot and spicy (picante).