Paprika is more than a dusting of color on potato salads and deviled eggs. Known for its association with Hungarian cuisine and made from the ground bonnet pepper (Capsicum tetragona, a relative of the chili pepper), paprika has a pungent taste when heated. Depending on the type, the color can range from bright orange to yellow to a deep blood red, and the taste can range from sweet to mild to bitter hot.
There are different types of paprika. Sweet paprika adds a vibrant color and can be sprinkled as a garnish or used as a flavoring for meat rubs. It has a sweet pepper flavor and no heat. Hot paprika is the Hungarian type and is used as a primary flavoring commonly found in goulash and Paprikash. It adds a peppery, spicy kick to any dish. Smoked paprika, often called pimenton, has a rich, smoky flavor and comes in various stages of heat.
The peppers from which paprika is made are native to the New World and originated in central Mexico. The spice was brought to Spain in the 16th century and made its way to Hungary in the 19th century. Paprika is also used in Austrian, Spanish, Moroccan, and Indian cuisines.
Benefits of Paprika
Some research suggests Paprika may have the following benefits:
- Eye Health
- Heart Health
- Healthy Skin & Hair