Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Paprika – Spice of the Month

Paprika, as far as we know, was first grown and used in Spain although it is also said that it was brought to Spain by Columbus from the Americas.    Paprika is actually a quite good source of Vitamin C.

Apparently Hungarians eat about 2 pounds of paprika each per year!

Paprika is used for its colour.  The flavour is quite mild compared to cayenne pepper.  Not all paprikas are equal – there are different grades of heat, different shades of colour and sweet or smoked.  You can also divide paprika up into 3 groups – Hungarian, Spanish and the rest.

Try it with shellfish.  Add it to dips like hummus.  Try adding it to cole slaw or potato salad. The flavour of paprika only really emerges with heat.  Add it to your onions and garlic once they have softened.  Then the paprika is less likely to burn.

You can also sprinkle paprika on top of dishes as a little garnish – not with too heavy a hand though!

When you are buying paprika try to find it in a glass jar so you can check that the colour is bright.  It will deteriorate with time so be strong and replace any that has sat around for too long.

Try – sprinkling paprika over cheese on toast.  Add it to tomato paste or passata when making a stew.  Make your own paprika oil by mixing it with olive oil and leaving it to stand.

BIBLIOGRAPHY - with thanks to Auckland Libraries

Cook's Encyclopaedia of Spices by Sallie Morris & Lesley Mackley
Discovering Vegetables, Herbs & Spices by Susanna Lyle
Spice Market by Jane Lawson
Spicery by Ian & Elizabeth Hemphill
Spices & Natural Flavourings by Jennifer Mulherin
Spices by Sophie Grigson
Spices Condiments and Seasonings by Kenneth T Farrell
Spices, Salt and Aromatics in the English Kitchen by Elizabeth David
The Cook's Companion by Stephanie Alexander


  1. we use paprika powder almost daily / croatian cuisine, hungary is our neightbour, I guess we borrowed this ingridient from them :)

  2. You know how I love any and all types of red chile powders and paprika is no exception. I use it all of the time.


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