About Paprika Powder
This striking, crimson-red colored powder is very versatile; it is used to season dishes, garnish foods, and add color to a recipe. Paprika powder is made from very specific peppers found in paprika-producing countries such as Spain and Hungary. Depending on the type of paprika, it can range from mild and sweet to spicy to smoked. The heat factor has to do with how the red powders are produced. Sweet or mild paprika does not contain any capsaicin since the seeds and membranes are removed, which is what gives chilies their heat. For the spicy paprikas, some of the seeds and the placenta and the capsaicin glands (or veins) are left on the pepper when they are dried and ground into the powder. Smoked paprika obtains its flavor from being smoked over an oak fire. The type of paprika (whether sweet, spicy, or smoked) will determine how it is used in cooking. A basic, mild-tasting version will add a pop of color without overwhelming the flavors of the dish and can be added to marinades and rubs or sprinkled over a finished dish like hummus. Most recipes call for simply adding the spice directly to a recipe, but for paprika to fully release its flavor, scent, and color, it should be quickly cooked in a little oil first. (Many Hungarian cooks swear by this step.) It can go from heavenly to bitter and unpalatable if it cooks even a few seconds too long, so pay close attention.
How to Store Paprika Powder
When storing Paprika Powder, ensure that it is stored in an airtight container, placed in a cool and dry location such as a pantry or cupboard. For best results, use within six months as paprika will lose its potency and taste with age.