Sweet Paprika is a finely ground powder from various cultivars of Pimento Chili Peppers. Paprika Chilies are somewhat larger and milder than most chili peppers, and these chilies are picked when they ripen and mature to a dark reddish colour. Once ground, the color may vary from a bright red to rusty brown. Sweet Paprika are relished for their vibrant color and mildly pungent, earthy, peppery/sweet flavour.
Paprika is indigenous to South America, but this originally tropical plant is now harvested in Hungary, Israel, Spain, Turkey, the United States and Yugoslavia.
Paprika is best known as a key ingredient in Hungarian cuisine, especially Goulash and Chicken Paprikash. Paprika is frequently used in spiced sausages, Spanish chorizos. Many Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish recipes use Paprika in casseroles, soups and stews as do many Cajun and Creole recipes. Paprika is often added to flour for dusting chicken and other meats. In India, Paprika may be used in preparing Tandoori Chicken, to provide this dish’s signature red color.
Sweet Paprika is used in salad dressings, to not only add some color but also as an emulsifier -combining the oil and vinegar. It is good with cheeses, chicken, duck, egg dishes, hors d’ouvres, marinades, rice, salads, smoked foods, vegetables and cottage cheese.