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Paprika, I don't understand it

Lately I've noticed a lot of different recipes that call for paprika, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, or even smoked sweet paprika. I have tried doing some internet research and seem to have found that there are three different kinds- Hungarian, Spanish and whatever it is they normally sell as just paprika in the spice section in the grocery store. How do I tell the difference or know what is what? Overall it sounds like I should be using smoked paprika in a lot of recipes but I don't know what it is. Please help! :)

asked by Miss Frizzle over 2 years ago
12 answers 3146 views
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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

This link may shed some light: http://www.thekitchn.com...

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added over 2 years ago

Thank you sexylambchopx! This is perfect. It also sounds like regular old paprika is kind of worthless other than just adding some color to things.

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sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Hi Valerie! I agree with the regular ol' paprika (color to devil eggs?!?). Invest in some sweet and hot and you will be good to go, IMO.

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

There is a wide spectrum of "paprika". Technically the Spanish pimentons should not be included in it. Where is Lineaus when we need him? Paprika is the Hungarian version and unless you go to a really good spice shop like Penzey's the supermarket version is not much good for anything beyond adding color to deviled eggs. Spanish pimenton can be "dolce", "picante" or "ahumado". Piment d'Espelette which comes from the Basque region (actually on the French side of the frontier).

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added over 2 years ago

I agree. I have normal paprika (why?!) and some sweet spanish paprika. I love using the latter in cooking!

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pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added over 2 years ago

Good on-line sources for Spanish pimenton include La Espanola, La Tienda and The Spanish Table. A bit more expensive than the supermarket "paprika" but worth it.

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added over 2 years ago

Thank you all for this advice! And how annoying that the most useful type of paprika isn't sold in regular stores. Those poor, poor fools buying boring old powdered food coloring.

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amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Yes, brands like McCormick, etc. are just 'red' flavor powder. (Sort of like Kool-Aid is 'red' flavor, not actual cherry or whatever.)

I guess it depends on where you live, but I'm able to find decent Hungarian paprika (sweet and hot) at my regular supermarket. I've found good Spanish smoked paprika from time to time mixed in with the motley assortment of 'gourmet' food at Marshall's too.

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QueenSashy

QueenSashy is a trusted home cook.

added over 2 years ago

Dinner at ten, I cannot agree more!!! Good quality "normal" paprika adds very subtle fine flavor to your dish. It's not meant to explode into your face, but without really noticing it, it changes the dish.

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added over 2 years ago

I love smoked paprika, great on shrimp with herbs and lemon.

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added over 2 years ago

Oops, I forgot to finish my response. I do feel that regular paprika has some taste although mild and in too high concentration just tastes like annoying powder.