Paprika in our A-Z - Cooking Index
Paprika is a spice which comes from a mild red pepper in the family Capsicum annum. It is a brilliant red powder and often used as a garnish.
Paprika is the main flavor in Hungarian cooking, including dishes such as Goulash and Chicken Paprikash. In the United States, it is often used as a garnish on stuffed eggs, fish, and cheese and vegetable casseroles. Spanish Paprika flavours shellfish, rice, and sausage dishes. In Morocco, Paprika is used in tomato dishes and salads.
Paprika ranges from sweet and mild to hot. American Paprika is the blandest, while Hungarian Paprika has the greatest range of flavour.
Red paprika originated in Southern Mexico, Central America, and the Antilles Islands, where Native Americans used it for healing and seasoning.
From there it came to Hungary through the Balkans. In the second half of the 16th century, Margit Széchy, a noble lady already had a plant in her garden called the Turkish pepper (at that time also called Indian pepper or heathen pepper).
The name ‘paprika’ came from the 18th Century as a diminutive form for the south-slavish name of pepper (papar), then after the Hungarian usage, the word became international and universal.