“Paprika” is Hungarian and “pimenton” is Spanish for the powder that is obtained by the grinding of pods from the dried, sweet, red peppers Capsicum Annum. Paprika is of Mexican/American origin and it was brought to Spain on the caravel Santa-Maria to be first cultivated in the garden of Queen Elizabeta in Seville. Nowadays, paprika is one of the most consumed spices worldwide and the best quality paprikas originate from Hungary and Spain.
Only the highest quality, ripe, intensely coloured pods are used to make paprika. Such pods have the highest content of carotenoids. Several grindings are necessary to achieve the correct powder texture. This aromatic powder is deep red to red-orange in colour; its flavour is mildly sweet and non pungent.
The colour rating is measured in ASTA ( American Spice Trade Association – the USA based international company which sets the spice specifications and standardized methods for spice analysis). High ASTA paprika (ASTA 150 – 180) is often used as a colouring agent in foods. Foods coloured with paprika include cheese, orange juice, spice mixtures, sauces, sweets and emulsified processed meats. In poultry feed, it is used to deepen the colour of egg yolks.
Paprika quality is largely influenced by the storage conditions: time and temperature. Paprika should be stored consistently in a cool and dry environment, away from direct sunlight. Improper storage above 20°C causes colour loss of 1% every 10 days. If stored properly, paprika is good for up to 18 months.
At The Garden Shed and Pantry we sell ASTA 100 paprika, from Spain. It is a wonderful, rich colour but, more importantly, it has a full flavour which is mildly sweet and non pungent. We store paprika in opaque, airtight containers in the Pantry, which is very cool, all year round.
Get Paprika and other fabulous fresh spices from the Cygnet Market or at the Garden Shed and Pantry.
Check out the newly renovated pantry and the special Spice offer.