Smoked paprika…a colour that nothing can beat. Its flavour is different to all others (sweet and spicy) but exquisite nonetheless.
It’s of American origin and dates back to Christopher Columbus’ time, who used smoked paprika to gift his benefactors, the Catholic Kings, back in 1492. An event taking place in the Monastery of Guadalupe (Cáceres) was what brought smoked paprika to our land and, more specifically, to Vera, where it is now produced. Because of its great potential, smoked paprika was also cultivated in Murcia. To this day, Vera and Murcia are the two regions with the highest production of paprika in our country. Whilst paprika grown in different locations come from the same origin, their place of growth can seriously affect the end product.
In Murcia, the drying process is done in autumn by the sun but, in Vera, they’ve had to devise a system to dry the paprika that would later give us paprika powder. They use smoked-drying which makes the paprika so valuable, giving it the aroma and special taste: Smoked Paprika. Once it’s been harvested with the utmost care, it’s placed in vertical current dryers where several floors are arranged: the oak wood bed, through which the smoky air rises for 15 days, drying the peppers and “smoking” them, removing any moisture they contain, helped by a daily flip of the fruit.
In addition to providing a unique colour and flavour to our meals, smoked paprika helps our body in many different ways:
– Consuming 2 or 3 tablespoons of smoked paprika a week helps your body stay protected against external oxidizing agents: pollution, solar radiation, the chemistry of some foods.
– As a powerful antioxidant, it’s fantastic at slowing down aging (you’d need a ton of creams and other products to yield the same power against wrinkles as smoked paprika).
– Helps regulate cholesterol and triglycerides.
– Helps prevent cancer. Include smoked paprika in your recipes
– you’ll see how they change the very moment it’s added, not only in colour, but also in flavour and aroma.