The red paprika is one of the fundamental ingredients of gourmet food in Spain, used in dishes such as Rioja style potatoes, Galician style octopus and chorizo, but is also used in other cuisines such as Hungarian. Some of the major paprika exporting countries are India and China, who distribute it worldwide.
The Spaniards used to call pepper all hot spices. Then, to distinguish the capsicum or chili from the black pepper, decided to call the first chili pepper; from that, Linnaeus gave these plants the generic name of Capsicum, which includes various kinds of chili used both as vegetables and spices for seasoning in dishes.
The Europeans were discovering progressively larger varieties of chilies in different shapes, sizes and colors, some with a strong flavor and some sweeter. The sweeter species of peppers were first cultivated in Spain and are mentioned in botanical treatises from the seventeenth century.
Mexican chili seeds arrived to the east, where the most spicy varieties were preferred. Indonesian diplomats who arrived to Mexico exceeded in tolerance for stronger chilies the local people.
Varieties of paprika
- Sweet paprika: characterized by the absence of pungency.
- Cayenne pepper: It can be spicy in a greater or lesser degree.
- Bittersweet Paprika: Obtained from a specific variety of peppers called Jariza.
Paprika properties may vary based on the raw material used in its manufacture, for example for sausage making is ideal which the paprika also have preservative qualities.
Made in Hungary by the name of paprika, is used abundantly in the dishes of this region of the world, being one of the typical ingredients of Hungarian cuisine and part of the national dish: the goulash, made with various peppers from the region.
This ingredient was added to the Spanish culinary history in the sixteenth century, annotated in his diary by Columbus in 1493, warning the presence of a new spice called aji by the Indians, named pimenton after the black pepper by the Spaniards, becoming then a staple.
The two best known varieties of paprika in Spain are the pimenton de la Vera and pimenton from Murcia.
Due to its special characteristics, is difficult to buy wine that combines well with the paprika, so the best option would be pairing it with beer. Today, we recommend a little pair of beer to spice your life:
Tasty, smoothy, fantastic.
Strong, only for dared people!