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Smoked Spanish Paprika

Smoked Spanish Paprika

If you are going to try out some Mediterranean recipe, then the chances of an ingredient in the list of ingredients being smoked Spanish paprika are very high. This will give rise to a flurry of questions like how this paprika different than the regular paprika, what is the apt substitute for this paprika, etc.
Bhakti Satalkar
Paprika is derived by grinding dried fruits of Capsicum annuum. It is a spice, which is used in almost all cuisines around the world. It may either be used to add color to the recipe or to add flavor or both. The flavor intensity of the paprika ranges from mild to hot and also varies from province to province, where it is cultivated. One of the popular type of paprika is the Spanish paprika. You will be able to find them in three flavors, namely mild, moderately spicy and very spicy. The Spanish names of each of them are Pimentón Dulce, Pimentón Agridulce and Pimentón Picante. This brings us to the question, what is smoked Spanish paprika.

A Little About Smoked Spanish Paprika?

It is the paprika, which is naturally smoked traditionally over fire. Normally, the smoking process is done over oak wood. The process of drying paprika happens over a period of few weeks. After the paprika is smoke dried thoroughly, it has sweet, cool and not to forget the smokey flavor. Smoked paprika spice is a part of number of Mediterranean recipes. Therefore, when one talks about authentic Mediterranean cuisine, it cannot be complete without smoked paprika. Smoking the paprika lends it awesome flavor and perfect color, which makes it suitable for sprinkling on various types of meat before it is cooked and also to make sauces, soups and salad dressing. They are often used to make recipes like gratin with leafy greens, crispy potatoes, fish recipes, bean recipes, etc. This paprika adds only smokey flavor to the recipe and it does not make it spicy. Hence may also be referred to as sweet smoked Spanish paprika.

Smoked Spanish Paprika Substitute

Now you will want to know the substitute for this paprika. Regular paprika is often used as substitute for smoked paprika, as it is made from similar red peppers, which are also used to make smoked paprika. However, you will not be able to get the smokey flavor, which is prominent in smoked paprika. According to some people, cayenne pepper should also be added in small quantities to the recipe along with sweet paprika for the exact taste of smoked paprika. The other substitute is powdered chipotles. Substitute chipotle and sweet paprika in the ratio 1:3 for smoked paprika. Cajun spice is also a decently good substitute. Since it is made by blending cayenne pepper, along with black and white pepper it is not as spicy as cayenne pepper. Therefore, people who would not want to make the recipe very spicy would rather want to opt for this substitute. Chili powder is also among Spanish pepper substitute. It is actually the powdered form of hot chili pepper. It can either be made from red peppers or cayenne peppers. It also makes for a great substitute for paprika with its flavor, yet not as spicy as cayenne.

Whatever substitute you choose, it will not be able to lend it the smokey flavor. Therefore, the smokey flavor will have to be added to the recipe. The smoke flavored liquid can be used for the same. The other alternative is to make a small quantity of smoke with wet wood piece and release it in the dish. However, care should be taken, when you are adding the flavor or releasing smoke into the dish. In most cases, people end up lending the dish with a lot of smokey flavor, which in turn ruins the dish.

I hope now you know what is smoked Spanish paprika and also the various substitutes, you can use. However, according to me nothing can really match the taste of this paprika. Hence, it is best to use the original itself.