Paprika

Capsicum annuum L.

Paprika is an annual plant of the nightshade family. It grows up to 60 centimetres high and has broad, deep green leaves and yellowish green flowers. The flowers develop firm, pointed pods several centimetres in length and characterised by their shiny red colour. A distinction is made between sweet pepper, red pepper and chillies (Capsicum frutescens L.). The three categories differ in size, shape and colour, as well as in their degree of pungency (mild to very hot).

Countries of origin

Brazil, Spain, Hungary, Central America, India, Romania, Bulgaria
The paprika plant is native to tropical and subtropical regions of South America. In the late 15th century, Columbus imported the plant to Europe, where it was first cultivated in Spain (hence the name “Spanish pepper” or “red pepper“). Today, paprika is cultivated in South and Central America, south-eastern and south-western Europe, and parts of Asia.

Flavour and aroma

Paprika is classified by flavour and quality into five types with different degrees of pungency: Mild Delicate Paprika, slightly pungent Noble Sweet Paprika, medium-pungency Half-Sweet Paprika, hot Rose Quality Paprika and finally Hot Paprika.
The more inner septa (ribs) and seeds are included in the grinding process, the hotter is the powder. Paprika needs a bit of fat to fully develop its typical colour and intense flavour. However, the fat must not boil, or the spice will otherwise become bitter.
Meat, fish and poultry dishes, particularly goulash, chopped meat, sausages, paprika chicken and gravies, but also with salad, vegetables, cheese, rice dishes Paprika is a traditional spice in all Hungarian dishes, such as paprika schnitzel, Szegediner goulash and Serbian rice with meat. It enhances the spiciness of pepper and exudes a stimulating aroma. On account of the rich colour, paprika is also suitable for colouring foods. It goes especially well with soft cheeses, cheese pastries, Spanish and Turkish meat, ragouts, all tomato dishes, poultry, vegetables and all hot, piquant sauces.


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