Plant family: Solanaceae (nightshade family related to tomatoes and
Paprika is believed to have originated in Southern Mexico. Early
Spanish explorers took red pepper seeds to Europe where the plant
gradually lost its pungent taste and became sweet paprika. Other
species were also first cultivated in Western South America.
A fairly warm climate is, however, necessary for a strong aroma.
Used plant part: Berry fruits of paprika are used for the culinary
Paprika is also classified as a chili powder. Chili powder is the
dried, ground pods of any or all members of the genus Capsicum.
Paprika powder can be either sweet or hot and is prized for its
brilliant red colour.
Sensoric quality: Sweet and aromatic. Some varieties show no
pungency at all, others are fairly hot.
Mostly, paprika has a pleasantly fragrant aroma. The flavour ranges
from sweet and mild to pungent and fiery. This is partly based on
the processing of the peppers. The pungency of the ground paprika
depends on whether or not the seeds and the stems are ground with
the dried peppers. It is usually said that the redder the colour,
the milder the paprika. Conversely, the more yellow the colour, the
stronger the flavour.
Use: Paprika is often eaten as ground powder as a spice but
sometimes also as a fresh vegetable.