Paprika - Pimenton are powdered spices made by pulverizing sweet red peppers. Pimenton, known in the United States as Smoked Spanish Paprika, is produced by slowly drying and smoking the peppers. This process produces a rich smoky aroma and taste. Paprika can range in taste from mild and sweet to hot and pungent. Colors can range from dark blood red to bright orange red. Pimenton comes in three versions: mild and sweet, medium hot, and hot (picante).
Today, Hungarian Paprika is considered the standard.
Paprika is indigenous to Mexico. The Spanish took it to Spain and Morocco, where it made its way to Hungary.
Hungarian Paprika is considered the standard. Other varieties come from California, Spain, and South America.
Pimenton de Murcia (a sweet Spanish Paprika) and Pimenton de la Vera (a smoked Spanish Paprika) have been awarded Protected Designation of Origin status by the European Union. The primary market for these two special spices is Spain.
These spices are like national treasures of Hungary and Spain where they are used extensively in the cuisines of each. In Spain, the spices are used widely in the preparations of cold cuts.
These spices are good for foods like: avocados, beef, beans, cheese dishes (dips, fondues, soufflés, spreads), chicken, chili, eggs, fish, meatloaf, rice, seafood, soups, stews, stuffing, turkey, and vegetables (artichokes, corn, cucumbers, eggplant, parsnips, pork, potatoes, squash).
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