Spanish paprika is a natural condiment, intense
red in colour, with a strong flavour and aroma, which is obtained from grinding
origins date back to the introduction of the pepper to Spain following the
conquering of Mexico. The process of obtaining the paprika has two phases;
drying the vegetable and then grinding them.
The drying process, following dehydration
produced by a heat treatment, usually lasts two weeks. Then it is classified
according to type and quality (sweet, bittersweet or spicy), the grinding
process begins, and, finally, it is packaged.
Although its primary destination is the
delicatessen industry, it is also a common element in home cooking. It is a
widely used condiment in many traditional Spanish dishes, accompanying fish (octopus
or ray), all types of stews, and as an essential ingredient in most Spanish
It crosses into regular American cuisine as a
seasoning for barbecue pork, kebabs, and rich beef and lamb stews. Although it
is not generally available, even in many gourmet shops, there is no substitute
for use in authentic Spanish cooking. Pimenton comes in three varieties -- sweet
and mild (dulce) bittersweet medium hot (agridulce) and hot (picante) -- and
normally keeps for two years.
You will find this sweet variety of
pimentón a unique and versatile seasoning. If there is one spice that
captures the essential flavor of Spain, it is this one. It is neither
the bland paprika you get at the local supermarket -- nor even the
traditional Hungarian paprika. It provides an inimitable Spanish flavor
to all of your paellas
Bittersweet Pimentón Agridulce is La
Vera's most traditional spice -- used for home-cured sausages, por and
meat, bean and game stews through the centuries in the north of Spain --
and makes up 2/3 of the total production.
This blood red pepper (it is not
blended as is often thought) produces a satisfyingly prickly piquant
heat. The noted author Penelope Casas selects this bittersweet variety
of pimentón for all of her paella recipes. You will be delighted to
experience how this product produces a distinctively smoky flavor
booster for your homemade stews and sauces.
This is the third member of the
pimentón triumvirate. Several peppers are milled together to make a
decidedly piquant - tangy - flavor.
I wish the English translation on the
tin did not say "hot", because it may bring you visions of flaming
spices typical of Mexican or Hispanic cuisine. But this is not the case.
Traditional Spanish cuisine never assaults you! On the other hand, if
you like lightly spicy sauces for your barbecued meats - this might be a
pleasing addition to your palate.