Spice made from red peppers / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Paprika (US /pəˈprikə/, /pæˈprikə/ (Loudspeaker.svglisten);[1] UK /ˈpæprɪkə/, /pəˈprkə/[1]) is a spice made from dried and ground red peppers.[2] It is traditionally made from Capsicum annuum varietals in the Longum group, which also includes chili peppers, but the peppers used for paprika tend to be milder and have thinner flesh.[3][4] In some languages, but not English, the word paprika also refers to the plant and the fruit from which the spice is made, as well as to peppers in the Grossum group (e.g., bell peppers).[5][6]:5,73

Quick facts: Food energy (per 100 g serving), Nutriti...
Mallorcan pimentón tap de cortí paprika
Food energy
(per 100 g serving)
282 kcal (1181 kJ)
Nutritional value
(per 100 g serving)
Protein14 g
Fat13 g
Carbohydrate54 g

All capsicum varieties are descended from wild ancestors in North America, in particular Central Mexico, where they have been cultivated for centuries.[7] The peppers were subsequently introduced to the Old World, when peppers were brought to Spain in the 16th century. The seasoning is used to add color and flavor to many types of dishes in diverse cuisines.

The trade in paprika expanded from the Iberian Peninsula to Africa and Asia[6]:8 and ultimately reached Central Europe through the Balkans, which was then under Ottoman rule. This helps explain the Serbo-Croatian origin of the English term. In Spanish, paprika has been known as pimentón since the 16th century, when it became a typical ingredient in the cuisine of western Extremadura.[6]:5,73 Despite its presence in Central Europe since the beginning of Ottoman conquests, it did not become popular in Hungary until the late 19th century.[8]

Paprika can range from mild to hot – the flavor also varies from country to country – but almost all plants grown produce the sweet variety.[9] Sweet paprika is mostly composed of the pericarp, with more than half of the seeds removed, whereas hot paprika contains some seeds, stalks, ovules, and calyces.[6]:5,73 The red, orange or yellow color of paprika is due to its content of carotenoids.[10]