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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Discover Spain's best Paprika
27 February 2019 @ 16:35

Paprika is a fundamental ingredient in traditional Spanish cooking, with a flavour that brings to mind comfort food at its finest.

The aroma, flavour and colour of paprika leaves its unmistakeable signature on each dish as well as some of the most typical charcuterie products in Spanish culture.

Chillies were brought over from the west and with them the varieties associated with paprika. Once harvested, they are fire or sun dried. They are then ground until the final texture is reached and then sold.
The paprika that is protected under the Designation of Origin comes from La Vera or Murcia.

The paprika from La Vera (my favourite) is made from Capsicum annuum chillies of the Capsicum cerasiforme and Capsicum longum varieties, which are used to make three different types of paprika: sweet, sweet and sour, and spicy; a wood-burning fire with oak or holm oak provide all the heat necessary to perfectly dehydrate paprika and give it its characteristic “smokiness” both in aroma and flavour.

 

Paprika from Murcia, on the other hand comes from grinding red Capsicum Annuum longum chillies of the bola variety that have been dried in the sun or with hot air.

 


The best tip for buying this spice is to opt for the products with a Designation of Origin (DO) “Pimentón de la Vera” (La Vera Paprika) or “Pimentón de Murcia” (Murica Paprika) seal. This spice is widely available, but the ones that are not protected under the DOs do not offer the same quality or flavour. These are the logos you should look our for:

 

                 

 

 

Paprika has only 3 kcal per gram. It is rich in Beta-Carotene, which acts as a very effective antibiotic, and it also contains riboflavin (B2) and niacin (B3) in smaller quantities. Of its minerals, it is richest in iron, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. It also contains lycopene, a very effective antioxidant that slows down the ageing process, and capsaicin, which promotes good circulation, stimulating the appetite and aiding in digestion.

 



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1 Comments


Goldilocks said:
11 March 2019 @ 18:59

Very interesting - many thanks for this. I had no idea DO was important for paprika. Could you please clarify one thing? Do all 3 varieties of la Vera have a smoky flavour?

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