This deep-red-colored spice is made from ground sweet red pepper pods. Its flavor can range from sweet and mild to smoky and hot. It’s a primary ingredient in Hungarian goulash and a classic garnish for deviled eggs.
How to Choose Paprika
Commercial paprika is produced in Spain, South America, California, and Hungary. With a rich red color and smooth texture, Hungarian paprika is of the highest quality. The container will specify if the paprika is sweet or hot; if it’s not marked, it’s most likely sweet. Spanish paprika, known as pimentón, is made of smoked peppers that have been ground. Only smoked paprika from the La Vera region of Spain can carry the name pimentón. Popular in chorizo and paella, it comes in three varieties: dulce (sweet), agridulce (bittersweet), and picante (hot).
How to Store Paprika
Store paprika in an airtight container away from light and heat or in the refrigerator. When stored properly, paprika can last up to 2 years. Faded color or diminished aroma or taste usually indicates that the spice is old and should be replaced.
How to Prepare Paprika
Avoid sprinkling paprika directly from its container into a hot or steaming pot. The steam can hasten the loss of the remaining flavor and aroma in the spice. Taste and smell the spice before adding it to your dish. Older spices will have lost some flavor, so you may need to use more in the recipe.
How to Use Paprika
Use paprika as you would any sweet-hot pepper: as an ingredient in dry rubs for barbecued or grilled meat, chicken, or fish or added to stews, soups, chowders, and casseroles. Sprinkle mild paprika on dips, soups, and sauces to add a touch of color.
—Stephanie Southworth Geary
Real Simple Paprika Recipes:
- Paprika Lamb Chops With Dill Carrots and Yogurt
- Smoked Paprika Fennel
- Paprika-Spiced Pork Chops With Spinach Sauté
- Paprika-Garlic Rub
- Smoked Turkey Sandwich With Paprika Mayonnaise
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