Smoked Sweet Paprika
From the nightshade family, paprika or Capsicum annuum, is used around the world. Popularized in Hungarian and Spanish cuisines, Smoked Sweet Paprika has risen in popularity in the United States with the influx of more Spanish-speaking immigrants over the past few decades.
Paprika is a mild chile coming it at only 100 to 250 SHU on the Scoville Scale. It’s not extremely hot, but it does have complex flavors and those smoky undertones that are extremely desirable in dishes that call for that flavor but don’t need heat. Smoked paprika is a forgiving spice, so you may need more than you think to get a huge depth of flavor. It’s perfect for those times when you’re just looking for some subtle smokiness though!
Paprika is popular all around the world, so it has many names. Arabic speakers call it “filfil hila,” Mandarin speakers call it “tian jiao,” in French you will hear “piment doux,” German speakers say “paprika,” in Hindi it is called “deghi mirch” in Japanese “papurika” is the word, Portuguese speakers say “pimentao doce,” Russian speakers say “peret kransnij,” and in Spanish it is called “pimenton.”
Cooking with Smoked Sweet Paprika
The smoky quality of this ground chile will pull you in and even just a pinch or two adds a captivating smoky aroma and flavor to nearly any dish you can imagine. Smoked Paprika is customarily used in making Spanish sausage such as chorizo. It’s used in Andalusian cuisine and added to berza ,which is a thick black bean soup, fish dishes, ham hocks, red pepper almond sauce called “romesco,” and a black sausage dish called “morcilla.” This is a key spice in sofritos, a base used in many Spanish recipes.
In the United States, many competition barbecuers use Smoked Sweet Paprika as a secret ingredient in their pork rubs. It’s a good ingredient to use with beans, in beef and lamb stews, in casseroles, and with chicken. Paprika tastes lovely on meat loaf, vegetables, rice, homemade sauces, soups, salad dressings, and egg dishes. Add it to honey to create a meat glaze that will pair well with strongly flavored meats like beef. Paprika also plays well with potatoes, tomatoes, and other nightshade family members.
When used with other spices, Smoked Sweet Paprika works well in combination with allspice, caraway, cardamom, garlic, ginger, oregano, parsley, pepper, rosemary, saffron, thyme and turmeric.
Some of our favorite recipes using Smoked Sweet Paprika are Smoked Paprika Chicken with Quinoa, Vegetable Jalfrezi, Vegetarian Roasted Spanish Potatoes, Spiced Almonds, Patatas Bravas,Spanish Garlic Mushrooms, Tortilla Espanola, Artichokes al Ajillo and Lean Ground Beef Chili.
What Does It Taste Like?
Smoked Sweet Paprika is rich in chile flavor and has a complexity and depth thanks to its smoky undertones.