Does Paprika Have a Taste?
Yes, paprika does have different tastes and flavors. The paprika flavor that we have all come to love gets more complex when you ‘meet’ the different global spice variations.
Paprika is produced by grinding sweeter cultivars of Capsicum annuum. Cultivars or varietals in the Longum division are best suited for creating paprika. Please note that they all come from the same big family, only paprika is much milder, and they don’t compare to the heat produced by the peppers beloved by spicy food lovers.
Paprika is considered a universal seasoning. If it’s not common in your country, you should seek it out because it adds so much flavor and dimension to food, minus the heat that some people can’t take.
The heat level of paprika varies. We are most familiar with paprika that doesn’t pack a punch.
The mild pepper flavor is beloved by many. However, as the varietal changes, the heat can change, too. The general flavor can also shift from sweet pepper to almost bitter. Mild paprika is often the best because they bring the best to the table: a hit of heat, a hint of sweet peppers, and just enough bitterness to bring life to a dish.
Sweet paprika is often added for its color and slight sweetness. This type of paprika is suitable for most salads.
Hot paprika is the one used most often in Hungarian cuisine. If you have ever had authentic Goulash, then you’ve tasted hot paprika. Hot paprika has a sub-variety called smoky paprika. Hot paprika is often manufactured from Aleppo peppers.
Smoky or smoked paprika introduces bitter undertones to the sweet pepper overlay of paprika. Roasted potatoes and vegetable stews become amazing with the addition of smoked paprika.