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Capsicum annuum






Capsicum annuum, Paprika, PaprikaPaprika (Capsicum annuum
Plant family: Solanaceae (nightshade family related to tomatoes and eggplants)
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 purposes.
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.