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Spanish Paprika

Information for Spanish Paprika

Pimentón or Spanish paprika is a widely used spice in Spanish cooking. Like other paprika variants, this spice is taken from red chili peppers. This tropical plant is scientifically known as capsicum annum and is now grown in cooler climates throughout Europe. Paprika is native to South America and is said to have come to Spain from Mexico by way of the conquistadors.

To achieve the familiar rusty brown to bright red powder, various types of chili peppers are grown to ripeness then dried and ground. The powdered chili peppers carry a warm and sweet aroma.

There are three different kinds of Spanish paprika, with each one varying slightly in flavor. The most commonly found is Pimentón Dulce, a mildly flavored Spanish paprika that adds color and some sweetness to dishes. Pimentón Agridulce on the other hand, has a sharper flavor with some bitterness. The last type, Pimentón Picante, as the name implies produces a piquant taste mixed with tanginess.

Spanish paprika is used in many foods ranging from tapas to salads and main dishes. It is also a popular ingredient in spiced sausage products such as chorizo. In other countries, it is popularly used for marinating meat and adding color to food. Some of the things it goes well with include chicken, veal, fish, seafood and lamb.

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