Paprika Sweet Pepper

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The Paprika sweet pepper is a rare pepper to find in the U.S., but easy to grow. If you are looking for a pepper that sports red and yellow colors of an ornamental pepper, but provides a mild sweet taste, then this is the pepper for you. The sweet peppers are the small bell-type varieties and the flavor is sweet, while the pungent ones are outstanding. There are two types of paprika in general, red and sweet.

There Are 3 Different Types of Paprika — and It Matters Which You Use

There’s a big difference between sweet, smoked, and hot paprika. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika-Honey Butter

Every time I found a recipe that called for smoked or hot paprika, I shrugged and sprinkled in the regular stuff instead. I thought the different varieties didn’t really make a difference, so there wasn’t a need for me to keep three different versions of the same spice on hand. 

Turns out, I was wrong. Paprika in its simplest form is made from grinding sweet pepper pods to create the iconic bright red powder. But depending on the variety of paprika, the color can range from a bright orange-red to a deep blood red and the flavor can be anything from sweet and mild to bitter and hot. 

Eating healthy should still be delicious.

Be careful to purchase the right kind of paprika for your dishes, and store the spice in a cool, dark place for up to six months. 

Choose Wild Rice Stuffing Over Bread Stuffing

Sweet Paprika

Typically just labeled as paprika, this spice adds vibrant color to any dish. It can be sprinkled as a garnish over deviled eggs or potato salad, or used as a flavoring for meat rubs. It has a sweet pepper flavor, without any heat.

Some dishes that call for sweet paprika are flexible with type, like our Chorizo Roasted Poblano Pepper Wild Rice Stuffing. Sweet paprika provides a sweeter flavor to calm down the heat, but smoked paprika will add a delicious, subtle smokiness. Other dishes, like Moroccan Butternut Squash Chickpea Stew and Slow-Cooked BBQ Pork Roast need the sweet paprika to balance other spices. We generally don’t recommend substituting in hot or smoked paprika.

Paprika-Rubbed Sheet-Tray Chicken

Hot Paprika

Hot paprika is the Hungarian variety of paprika, and is generally accepted as superior to the rest. In Hungarian cuisine, paprika is used as a primary flavoring method, instead of simply adding color to a dish. It is most commonly found in classic dishes like Goulash, a stew made from red meat. onions, potatoes, and vegetables, and served over egg noodles, and the creamy Paprikash, a similar stew that uses lighter meats and sour cream. 

This version adds a peppery, spicy kick to any dish. Our Paprika Rubbed Sheet Tray Chicken blends both hot and smoked paprika for a truly fiery bite, while our Breakfast Hot Dish subs hot paprika in for spicy Aleppo pepper. You can sub sweet paprika into dishes that call for hot paprika and sprinkle a touch of cayenne pepper in to compensate for the heat. We do not recommend using smoked paprika in place of hot. 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Smoked Paprika-Honey Butter

Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika, often called pimenton or smoked Spanish paprika, is made from peppers that are smoked and dried over oak fires. This process gives the red powder a rich, smoky flavor. You can find this smoked variety in mild, medium-hot, and hot. True Spanish pimenton is produced using traditional techniques and comes from specific areas in Spain, as per the European Union’s laws. 

This variety is has a smoky flavor you might find by grilling outdoors or charring a red pepper. The flavor is still sweet and cool without adding any heat to the dish, unless you purchase a hot, smoked variety. You can sample the smokey undertones in our Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Smoked Paprika-Honey Butter or dig into a bowl of Smoky Lentil Stew. You can sub in sweet paprika into dishes that call for smoked, but it will drastically change the flavor of the dish by removing the smokiness. 

Paprika Pepper Info: Can You Grow Paprika Peppers In The Garden Peppers By: Amy Grant Printer Friendly Version Image by vallefrias Familiar in many foods from the famous Hungarian goulash to a dusting atop deviled eggs, have you ever wondered about paprika spice? For instance, where does paprika grow? Can I grow my own paprika peppers? Let’s read on to learn more. Where Does Paprika Grow? Paprika is a variety of mild pepper (Capsicum annuum) that is dried, ground, and used with food either as a spice or garnish. Most of what we are familiar with comes from Spain, or yes, you guessed it, Hungary. However, these are by far not the only countries that grow paprika peppers and, for the most part, Hungarian paprika is grown in the United States. Paprika Pepper Info It isn’t known exactly what the derivation of the word paprika arises from. Some say it is the Hungarian word meaning pepper, while still others say it is from the Latin ‘piper’ meaning pepper. Whatever the case, paprika has been used in a variety of cuisine for hundreds of years, adding a serious boost of vitamin C to dishes. In fact, paprika peppers have more vitamin C than lemon juice by weight. 0 seconds of 1 minute, 20 secondsVolume 0%   Another interesting bit of paprika pepper info is its use as a hair color. By itself, it imbues hair with a reddish hue, and combined with henna unleashes the fiery red head. Paprika is available in several incarnations of the pepper. Regular unsmoked paprika is called Pimenton. There are gradations of regular paprika from mild, moderately spicy, to very spicy. Contrary to what you might think, the red color of the spice does not correspond to how spicy it is. The darker, browner tones of paprika are actually the spiciest while the red-toned paprikas are milder. The spice also comes as smoked paprika, my favorite, which is smoked over oak wood. Smoked paprika is delicious in everything from potato dishes to eggs and pretty much any meat. It also lends vegetarian cuisine another layer of flavor, resulting in truly robust dishes. Hungarian paprika fruit is a little smaller than Spanish paprika, 2 to 5 inches (5-13 cm.) long versus 5 to 9 inches (13-23 cm.) long. Hungarian peppers are oblong to pointy in shape with thin walls. Most are mild in flavor, but some strains can be quite hot. The Spanish paprika peppers have thicker, fleshier fruits and are more susceptible to disease than its counterpart, probably accounting for its popularity with growers. How Do I Grow Paprika Spice? When growing your own paprika peppers, you may plant either Hungarian or Spanish varieties. If you’re going to make the peppers into paprika, however, ‘Kalosca’ is a thin-walled sweet pepper that is easily dried and ground. There is no secret to growing paprika peppers. They are grown much like other peppers, which means they like a well-draining, fertile soil in a sunny area. Provided that you live in a warm climate, you may start paprika outdoors from seed in zones 6 and higher. In cooler climes, start the seeds inside or purchase seedlings. Wait until all danger of frost has passed before transplanting, as all peppers are susceptible to frost. Space plants 12 inches (31 cm.) apart in rows 3 feet (1 m.) apart. Harvest time for your peppers will be staggered from summer into fall. Fruit is mature when it is bright red in color.

Description/Taste

Alma paprika chile peppers are small, squat pods, averaging 7 to 10 centimeters in length and 5 to 7 centimeters in width, and have a round to slightly flattened shape with thick green stems. The pods bear many lobes, and the skin is smooth, taut, and shiny, ripening from white, orange, to red when mature. Underneath the surface, the flesh is thick, crisp, and aqueous, encasing a central cavity filled with many round and flat, cream-colored seeds. Alma paprika chile peppers have a sweet flavor mixed with a mild to moderate level of spice depending on maturity. When fully ripe, the heat is slightly more noticeable, but generally has a pleasant and manageable burn.

Seasons/Availability

Alma paprika chile peppers are available in the summer through fall.

Current Facts

Alma paprika chile peppers, botanically classified as Capsicum annuum, are an heirloom, pimento-type peppers that belong to the Solanaceae or nightshade family. Also known as the Sweet Apple paprika pepper, the word alma in Hungarian translates to mean ple, which is a name given for the pepper’s round shape. Alma paprika chile peppers contain a mild heat, ranging 1,000-3,000 SHU on the Scoville scale, and are primarily known for their role in making the dried spice paprika. Alma paprika chile peppers have yet to gain global popularity as a fresh market pepper and are only consumed raw on a local scale in the region where the peppers are grown.

Nutritional Value

Alma paprika peppers contain vitamins A and C, which are antioxidants that can protect the body against free radicals by boosting the immune system. The peppers also contain folate and vitamin K, which can help support healthy blood functions.

Applications

Alma paprika chile peppers are best suited for fresh, cooked, and dried applications. When raw, the peppers can be sliced into salads or tossed into pasta, and in cooked applications, they can be stuffed with cheeses, meats, and grains and then baked or oasted as a side dish. Alma paprika chile peppers can also be chopped and mixed into casseroles and roasts, stirred into soups, stews, and chili, grilled for a smoky flavor, sautéed with eggs, or pickled in a vinegar brine and preserved for extended use. In addition to raw and cooked preparations, the pepper can be dried and ground into a powder for use as a flavorful spice. Paprika is commonly sprinkled over pasta and potato salads, mixed into a filling for pastries, whipped into deviled eggs, or topped as a finishing element over soups. Alma paprika chile peppers pair well with legumes, carrots, potatoes, meats such as beef, poultry, sausage, prosciutto, and veal, seafood, cheeses such as cream cheese and mozzarella, and herbs such as parsley, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Fresh peppers will keep up to one week when loosely stored whole and unwashed in plastic in the refrigerator. Paprika powder will keep 3-4 years when stored in a cool, dry, and dark place.

Ethnic/Cultural Info

Alma paprika chile peppers are one of the common varieties used to make the famous spice paprika. There are many different versions of paprika, depending on the peppers used, and the spice can range in color and heat levels from sweet and mild, smoky, to hot. Different kinds of paprika are also produced around the world, especially in Spain, Hungary, Turkey, California, South Africa, China, and South America. In Hungary, chile peppers such as the Alma paprika are grown along the Danube river in home gans and are dried in the sun to make the powdered spice. Paprika has become one of the essential flavorings in Hungarian kitchens and is an essential ingredient in Hungarian goulash, or gulyás, which is the country’s national dish. Paprika is also usin pörkölt, which is a meat stew, and paprikás, which is chicken served with paprika. Many Hungarians choose to make their own paprika to create the precise combination of flavors, and Alma paprika chile peppers are used in their mature state to make paprika with a sweet taste with mild heat.

Geography/History

Alma paprika chile peppers are descendants of peppers native to Central and South America that were introduced to Europe via Spanish and Portuguese explorers during the 15th and 16th centuries. Since their introduction, many different varieties of peppers have been spread across Europe and Asia along trade routes, and Alma paprika chile peppers were believed to have been introduced to Hungary by the Turks sometime during the 16th and 17th centuries. In Hungary, the peppers were first grown as an ornamenl plant, but as shepherds and peasants began using the peppers in a dried, spice form, the flavoring widely increased in popularity and became a staple ingredient in the 19th century. Today Alma paprika chile peppers are found fresh through farmer’s markets and small farms in Europe, China, South America, Africa, and the United States and are sold through online seed catalogs for home garden use. The dried and ground powder version is available for purchase in grocers around the world.

Roasted Sweet Peppers with Paprika

A tray of toasted bread rounds topped with colorful roasted peppers and crumbled blue cheese makes an attractive finger food that’s uncommonly delicious. Roasted peppers can be made up to 3 days ahead or frozen up to 1 month.

A tray of toasted bread rounds topped with colorful roasted peppers and crumbled blue cheese makes an attractive finger food that’s uncommonly delicious. Roasted peppers can be made up to 3 days ahead or frozen up to 1 month.

SERVINGS 

20

Ingredients

  • 4 large red and/or yellow bell peppers
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. sugar

Preparation

Roast peppers over gas flame or under broiler, turning, until charred all over. Place in paper bag, and allow to steam and cool for 20 minutes. Working over bowl, scrape off blackened skin, and remove cores, seeds and ribs, saving any juices from inside peppers. Chop peppers coarsely.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, and cook, stirring often, until soft and just beginning to color, about 3 minutes. Add roasted peppers and 1 to 2 tablespoons reserved juice. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes. (If peppers start to dry out, add more reserved juice as needed.) Add paprika, salt and sugar, and mix well. Cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until peppers are very tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool. (Roasted peppers can be made ahead. Cover, and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.)

To serve, place roasted peppers on toasted bread rounds, and top with crumbled cheese if desired.

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