The Basics: Paprika

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Cooking Essentials

The Profile


Paprika, traditionally made from Capsicum annuum, is a spice consisting of ground dried peppers. Although most often known for it’s sweet & mild flavor, some varieties can be a bit more spicy depending upon the type of pepper that is used. If spicy, the heat may be attributed to the parts of the plant that are ground. Sweet paprika is commonly derived by grinding the pericarp, an inner portion of the pepper whereas the seeds, stalks & ovules are generally found in spicy renditions. As to the specific bold coloration, carotenoids are responsible for the rich hue much like those found in pumpkins & tomatoes. Learn more about the origins of paprika & how to use it when cooking.

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How To Use Paprika

Hungarian paprika is available in many forms & the grades range from noble sweet & delicate to rose, semi-sweet & strong. Each variation offers a specific coloration from bright red to brown. Spanish paprika or pimenton on the other hand is only available in three styles: mild, mildly spicy & spicy. The latter sometimes has a notable flavor when the peppers are dried, then smoked using oak. Different styles of paprika are also produced in Mexico, the Netherlands, China & some parts of the United States.


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Paprika adds good flavor & beautiful color to many dishes including soups & stews as well as provides signature taste to sausages such as chorizo. A batch of Crispy Baked Potato Wedges benefits greatly when tossed with a smattering of kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper. It’s often found in barbecue rubs & seasoning blends for grilling or smoking applications & in sauces, too. Paprika offers rich color to many global rice dishes & in the South, paprika may be used as a garnish as it’s often times sprinkled over deviled eggs. It’s dusted over many Creole & Cajun dishes that include seafood in recipe applications & just before serving.

 The Tune
“Deed I Do” Billie Holiday

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About Rebecca Gordon

* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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