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Your Guide to Spanish Paprika, Smoked Hot Paprika and Smoked Sweet Paprika

Paprika is like no other spice we know of. It’s different in most countries that produce it, and even within Spain, there are huge variations in flavour intensity and colour. That’s because different peppers and drying methods are used. 

If you’ve only ever tried ‘paprika’, you’re in for a treat. Come and explore the three main varieties of paprika with us, then learn about Spanish Paprika and how to use these to bring different meals alive.

Types of Paprika

  • Hot paprika (Pimentón Picante)
  • Smoked paprika (Pimentón de la Vera)
  • Sweet Paprika (Pimentón Dulce)

The three main types of paprika available in the world are generally hot, smoked, and sweet. If you’re used to buying paprika in a supermarket and it’s just labelled ‘paprika’, it’s a safe bet that it’s your sweet variety.

There are different paprika’s that suit different dishes, and even ingredients. Dash some hot paprika instead of sweet paprika over eggs, and you’ll know about it.

Chef Urbano offers each variety of paprika in more detail, and explains the most typical types of dishes to use them with.

Chef Urbano Hot paprika 

As the name suggests, hot paprika has a distinctive ‘spice’ and it has a kick to it! It’s made from spicy red chili peppers, versus sweet red peppers. While it’s the hottest of the paprikas, it’s nowhere near as hot as other types of chili. It’s great for adding a lingering heat and mildly spicy element to a dish. 

Hot paprika lends itself to stronger flavoured dishes, where the flavour of sweet paprika would be lost. It’s commonly used in soups, hot curries, and stews. 

Chef Urbano Smoked Paprika

Smoked paprika is made from peppers that are smoked or charred, then crushed and ground up. The intensity of the smokiness and flavour depends on the types of pepper used and the method of smoking. Its flavour is the strongest of all three paprikas so it can easily take over a meal, and often make a meal.

Chef Urbano Sweet paprika 

Used around the world, sweet paprika is a versatile spice thanks to its mild flavour. A sprinkle of this won’t overpower too many dishes or ingredients, although the colour may be striking. 

Sweet paprika is commonly found in mild or sweet curries, stir-fries, and in seafood dishes. It’s a popular party pleaser too, and often makes an appearance on top of cream cheese and curried devilled eggs. Season your seafood or meat dishes with sweet paprika to add some delicious flavour.

Health benefits of Paprika

  • Boosts eye health– decreases the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration 
  • Promotes a healthy heart– lowers the risk of heart disease by decreasing “bad” cholesterol
  • Protects against some cancers– fights oxidative stress, which increases the risk of developing certain cancers
  • Helps manage diabetes – improves blood sugar control

 Here are the most impressive nutritional qualities of paprika: 

  • Antioxidants– these fight free radicals, support a healthy gut, as well as improve brain and mental health
  • Anti-inflammatory– this helps to fight pain and keep inflammation levels down
  • Vitamins– contains vitamin A, B6, and E

Culinary Use

Here are some ways to use paprika in recipes:

  • Sprinkle on roasted potatoes
  • Season grilled chicken with paprika, salt, and pepper
  • Stir into hummus
  • Combine with other spices in a dry rub blend for grilling meat
  • Add to batter for frying chicken
  • Use as a garnish for devilled eggs

Buy Online 

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Q. Is there a difference between paprika and smoked paprika?
A. Regular paprika contains crushed dried chili peppers.Smoked paprika is made from smoke-dried chili peppers that were dried over an oak fire before being ground into a powder.

Q. What is smoked paprika in India?
A. Smoked Paprika is made from pimiento peppers smoked over a wood fire and then ground into a fine powder.

Q. Why use smoked paprika?
A. Smoked paprika adds an extra layer of complexity to your dishes by giving it a delicious earthy flavor that accentuates the taste as well as the aroma.

Q. Is smoked paprika really spicy?
A. Smoked paprika, as its name suggests, offers a delicious smokiness as it is made from peppers that are smoked and dried. Although smoky in flavour, it is not hot(unless you buy a hot, smoked variety). Smoked paprika is perfect for adding a depth of flavour to paella, stews, soups, casseroles, pizza and pasta.

Q. Is smoked paprika healthy?
A. Paprika contains high levels of vitamins C and E, with the former providing protection against cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

Q. Is Spanish paprika same as smoked paprika?
A. Also called Spanish paprika or pimenton, smoked paprika is made from peppers that are smoked, dried, and then ground into powder.

Q. What is the best Spanish smoked paprika in India?
A. Chef Urbano is the original and best brand that’s imports Pimentón de La Vera, and they still use stone mills to create the finest, most flavorful smoked paprika in Spain.

Q. Can I replace paprika with smoked paprika?
A. Yes, they are both paprikas, but this is not a perfect substitution by any means.

Q. What's the difference between hot smoked paprika and sweet smoked paprika?
A. Sweet paprika is made using sweet peppers, while hot paprika is made using spicier peppers, and includes more of the inner pith, where most of the heat is concentrated.

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