Central to not only Spanish but also Hungarian and many South American cuisines. Adding paprika gives a smokey flavour to a range of savoury dishes from paella to goulash. In Cajun cooking, its inclusion into various dishes is because of the Spanish influence in the Louisiana area.
The colour can range from a fiery orange-red colour to a dark, rich red and it all depends on the peppers that are dried and ground to create the powder.
Although paprika was originally a native of tropical areas such as Mexico, Central America, South America, and the West Indies. It has adapted itself to cooler climates and in doing it is widely available across the globe, becoming the fourth most used spice worldwide.
Its name has also taken quite a journey. It started in Ancient Latin as ‘piper’ which was a name for the pepper plants. From here, it travelled to Hungary and became paprika. The name stuck and now almost every language in the world uses some variation.
The smoked paprika that we use in our Mexican Tomato & Fire Roasted Pepper soup is created by slowly smoking the peppers over burning wood and then repeatedly grinding it so that it is left with a deep red colour and a silky-smooth texture.