I need a substitute for paprika in Diana Henry's Pickled Lemons. What should I use instead?

The recipe is simple: sweat salted lemon slices overnight, layer in a jar with sprinkles of paprika, cover with olive oil. The problem - paprika and I don't get along too well. Your thoughts?

Thank you, everyone. ;o)

P.S. The recipe is from her delightful, oft-overlooked "Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons."

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Nancy
Nancy March 3, 2017

For a little heat, i you can tolerate other pepper, use a little bit of cayenne, ancho, urfa, marash or aleppo.
If not, try a little bit of sumac. It will give a little color and sour flavor. Also related to the same cuisine.
Or a bit or both, pepper and sumac.

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creamtea
creamtea March 3, 2017

I suspect the paprika is used primarily for color; I have had this type of lemon in hummus places. I make my lemons without paprika, but I use black peppercorns, a cinnamon stick, whole cloves, sometimes a bay leaf, coriander seeds and occasionally cardamom pods (though the last is not traditional).

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames March 3, 2017

Thank you so much, both of you. So many great ideas! Luckily for me, my Meyer lemon tree is heavy with ripe fruit, so I'll be testing three or four of these ideas over the weekend. You two are the best. Cheers. ;o)

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