What Does Paprika Taste Like ? The Answer Will Make You Give It A Try
Spices are essential kitchen condiments that make dishes more flavorful and visually appealing. With the spice called “paprika”, you can add a bland-looking salad with a dash or red/orange/brown in color and give a simple soup with some “heat” in it.
But what is paprika and what does paprika taste like ?
What is Paprika ?
Paprika is a spice made from the ground pod of bell peppers (Capsicum annuum). Paprika typically takes on a red color, but depending on the type of pepper; it could also be colored brown, copper and orange
Similarly, the flavor of paprika depends on the variety of the pepper, which may range from pungent to spicy hot.
Paprika is the national spice of Hungary, and unsurprisingly, Hungarians use paprika in most of all their dishes. Other nationalities use paprika liberally too, including the Spanish and South Americans.
The spice has now made its way to the heart of American consumers who have now become familiar with its use.
What does Paprika Taste Like ?
Well, there are different types of paprika, and each has its different flavor. The most common types of paprika that you’ll find in the grocery and gourmet stores are regular, sweet, smoked and hot.
The usual type has a neutral flavor that it’s almost tasteless. It is commonly used to add color to dishes or is added at the end of the cooking process as garnish.
The hot paprika, like the term implies, is hot. It is hotter because it is made of chili pepper instead of the regular red bell peppers, but it’s also remarkably less spicy than cayenne.
Lastly, the smoked paprika has a smoked flavor because it’s been smoked over oak. The smoked paprika can either be hot or sweet and is the perfect type for marinades and stews.
Interestingly, paprika in Hungary has a more definite classification regarding flavor and pungency.
Hungarian paprika is classified in this order (ranging from the mildest flavor to the hottest): Különleges, Édes csemege, Csemegepaprika, Csípős Csemege, Pikáns, Rózsa) Édesnemes, Félédes, and eros.
How to Use Paprika
In Hungary where Paprika is considered a national spice, paprika is used in virtually all kinds of dishes. This spice is even more important in the making of the Hungary’s most favorite food called the “goulash”.
A huge amount of paprika is first fried in lard then added into the soup to give it a red color, thick texture and spicy flavor. And for the rest of the Hungarian recipes, let’s just say that paprika is quite a staple ingredient.
How you use paprika is your own cooking depends on many factors: do you simply to liven it up with color or give it a hint of spiciness?
When using paprika in soups and stews, consider adding it as you’re about to end the cooking process because the color and spiciness can diminish in high temperatures.
If you’re using paprika in barbecue marinades and roasts, it’s good to mix the spice with some oil first before rubbing into the meat, so it sticks and penetrates.
In other dishes like pasta, you can also add paprika to your pasta sauce to give it a redder color and some hint of heat in flavors.
From deviled eggs to roasted meat, vegetable stews to everything in between, you can always use paprika if you like to give your dish some color and flavors.
And with the different types of paprika available, you will surely find the right kind of the amount of heat and pungency to suit your palate.
You can add paprika in all kinds of savory dishes, but do remember that paprika vary in flavor and the results can be different if you use a sweet paprika instead of the smoked one.
But needless to say, paprika is quite versatile in that it can bring life to almost any kind of savory meal. If you haven’t tried using paprika yet, consider adding it to your favorite meat dishes, soups, and stews and experience the difference in flavors.
Do you use paprika in your cooking? If so, care to share what you think about the spice and how you use it in your favorite recipes?