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What Is Spanish Paprika?

Know Your Ingredients: Spanish Paprika

With Spanish cuisine being a huge trend these days, you may have come across Spanish paprika on a recipe's ingredient list. Also known as pimentón, this spice is becoming very popular in the United States. But what exactly is Spanish paprika and what makes it so special?

Well, there are two kinds of Spanish paprika: smoked and nonsmoked. Smoked paprika is known as Pimentón de la Vera; it's named after the region where the peppers (that are used to make the paprika) are grown. Before the peppers are ground, they are smoke-dried with oakwood for two weeks. Pimentón de la Vera is essential to giving Spanish chorizo its characteristic smokiness.

Under each kind, there are three flavor varieties: sweet (dulce), semi-sweet (agridulce), and spicy (picante). The paprika's heat level depends on the original pepper's heat. Spanish paprika can be found in some grocery stores, and McCormick makes a smoked version that is similar to Pimentón de la Vera. Have you cooked with Spanish paprika?

Source: Flickr User wlayton

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