Primer on Paprika

Americans know paprika best as that red stuff you sprinkle on top of deviled eggs, but paprika is so much more versatile!

At Allspice, we carry a wide range of paprika, each one certain to liven up your cooking.

A “New World” spice, paprika was introduced in Hungary during the 16th century. Paprika spice was always hot, until the 19th century, when spice grinders figured out how to remove the heat-producing seeds and veins from the dried peppers. Now, there are eight different varieties of paprika sold in Hungary alone.

With so many to choose from, which Paprika should I use?

Paprika, Sweet Hungarian

Hungarian paprika can be hot or sweet. Sweet Hungarian Paprika is the definitive paprika for quintessential European dishes like goulash, chicken paprikash, and stuffed bell peppers. It is the classic garnish for deviled eggs and potato salads, simple baked chicken and fish. Great in marinades and salad dressings. Sweet Hungarian Paprika has a high sugar content and will burn if exposed to high heat.

Paprika, Hot Hungarian
Hot Hungarian Paprika is, no surprise, spicy. The hottest paprika is orange (not red like you might expect), and it derives its heat from capsaicin. It's a perfect ingredient for adding a little color and zip to meat and bean dishes.


Paprika, Smoked Sweet

We also sell several varieties of deep red smoked paprika, made from peppers slowly smoked over a wood fire for several weeks. Smoked paprika is a Spanish innovation, and is a popular ingredient in Mediterranean (southern/western European) recipes. The sweet, cool, smoky flavor of Smoked Sweet Paprika is perfect for authentic Spanish cooking, for gratins or leafy greens and crispy potatoes, fish dishes, spinach and chickpea stew or bean dishes. A great way to add a smoky flavor with no heat.

Paprika, Smoked Bittersweet
Smoked Bittersweet Paprika is semi-hot and packs an earthy, bittersweet flavor and aroma — derived from a type of pimento pepper. This paprika is a perfect match for homemade sausages, paella, grilled meats and stews.


Paprika, Smoked Hot

Smoked Hot Paprika rocks a hot, smoky flavor. With a medium heat factor, use hot smoked paprika to spice up beans, dry rub grilled pork or chicken or sprinkle atop sizzling shrimp. Try it in soups or chorizo. Add it to garlic flavored mayonnaise, or use it to make your deviled eggs extra devilish.

Paprika, Premium Grade

Overwhelmed? Don't be. We also carry Premium Grade Paprika. This variety is a little warmer than Sweet Hungarian, but not as hot as the Hot Hungarian. It also has a slight smokiness, but isn’t a smoked paprika, which packs a stronger smoky flavor often preferred for use in barbecue rubs. When customers ask for a general purpose paprika, this is our go to.

Use paprika in recipes ranging from dips and spreads, to barbecue sauces and rubs, curry, potato salad and deviled eggs. 

Which paprika is your paprika? Share your favorite with us in the comments below.

1 comment

  • I prefer sweet paprika as well as the Spanish smoked paprika in my cooking .

    Anne Coonradt

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