Want to enjoy the many flavors of paprika, but not sure which to use or how to use it? Let us make it easy for you with this fun paprika guide!
One of the most common spices in the world, paprika is made from grinding the pods of a variety of Capsicum peppers. Like most spices, paprika has different varieties or grades. Depending on the chosen pepper and how it’s processed, paprika’s flavors can range from mild to smoked to spicy and colors range from a bright red to a deep brown. Due to the wide variety of paprika types available, it is very helpful to know the distinct qualities (colors and flavors) that each can bring to a dish. Read on to learn about the 6 varieties carried at The Spice & Tea Exchange®.
The Hungarian paprikas are generally considered the richer, more robust, and superior (more “gourmet”) varieties. The differences between Hungarian and Spanish paprikas are created in their method of processing. Hungarian paprika is typically made with different types of peppers that are slowly sun-dried.
- Paprika – Hungarian Sweet – A robust paprika with strong flavor, preferred in traditional Hungarian dishes such as “chicken paprikash,” “goulash,” “paprikás krumpli” (pan-fried potatoes), “zsíros kenyér” (fatty bread), etc. It is also a common ingredient used with onions and lard for the base of many Hungarian stews such as “pörkölt” (beef stew), “lecsó” (pepper-tomato stew), and others.
- Paprika – Hungarian Hot – A spicier version of the Paprika – Hungarian Sweet. This paprika is used instead of Paprika – Hungarian Sweet when the same flavor profile, yet a slightly hotter mouthfeel is desired.
Spanish Paprikas (Also known as Pimentón)
The Spanish varieties of paprika are generally considered sweeter and milder, with flavor that is less intense than that of Hungarian paprika. The differences between Hungarian and Spanish paprikas are created in their method of processing. Spanish paprika is typically made by harvesting and drying different types of peppers over wood fires.
- Paprika – Spanish Sweet – Spanish paprika is considered by many to have a smooth flavor that blends best in Mexican and Latin dishes. This sweet version is good for any basic recipe using paprika including (but not limited to): deviled eggs, potato casseroles, milder stews, roasted chicken, chili, adding flavor to vegetables, etc.
- Paprika – Spanish Hot – A spicier version of the Paprika – Spanish Sweet. This paprika is used instead of Paprika – Spanish Sweet when the same flavor profile, yet a slightly hotter mouthfeel is desired.
- Paprika – Smoked Sweet – A smoky version of the Paprika – Spanish Sweet. This paprika is used instead of Paprika – Spanish Sweet when the same flavor profile, yets a slightly smokier taste is desired (also, while it’s not as hot as the Paprika – Smoked Hot, this version does have some heat). *This type of paprika has become a recent foodie trend and is commonly the one you’ll see used in trendy magazines and TV shows.
- Paprika – Smoked Hot – A spicier version of the Paprika – Smoked Sweet. This paprika is used instead of Paprika – Smoked Sweet when the same smoky flavor profile, yet, a slightly hotter mouthfeel is desired.