Paprika Paprika is a spice belonging to the chili pepper family. While it was the Hungarians who were the first to use paprika in their foods, paprika is actually a chili native to the New World. The Portuguese and Spanish explorers introduced paprika to the Europeans in the 16th century. Today, paprika is also grown in several Mediterranean countries including Spain and Portugal, where the dried paprika powder is often smoked. Paprika is a good flavoring agent and also adds a nice red color to the foods. Most Europeans now routinely add paprika to their meats, vegetable and a variety of soups. The initial variety of paprika that grew in the New World was hot and fiery but over the years a new species has been grown which has a sweet flavor and the hotness varies from mild to intense. The hot paprika usually contains the seeds, stalks, and calyces. Paprika is one of the most common color and flavoring agent used by chefs for a wide range of dishes. It can be used to season and color stews, soups and rice. It is used to intensify and add flavor to sausages, kebabs, lamb and even potatoes. In the USA, paprika is also sprinkled on foods as a garnish. The Spanish paprika pimento has a distinct aroma and a musky flavor and comes in many flavors and color. However, it is the Hungarian paprika that is widely sold all over the USA. It is available in various degrees of sweetness and color. The amount of paprika used to enhance flavor depends on the dish. While in America, paprika is often sprinkled on foods, there are some foods like the goulash that need a spoonful of paprika. Most food experts recommend the use of the Hungarian paprika because it is superior and often robust. In many restaurants, paprika is available in a shaker, like salt and pepper, and can be added on to soups, salads and even on French fries. Paprika is available in most food stores in North America and is relatively inexpensive. There is now Moroccan paprika available that is augmented with the addition of olive oil and it is often used to marinate certain meats. In some cultures, paprika is also used in combination with henna to enhance the color of skin.

Health Benefits of Paprika:

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    Paprika is a spice belonging to the chili pepper family. While it was the Hungarians who were the first to

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