Differences in paprika types

🔔 This article was originally posted on The Hungarian Paprika website. TheHungarianPaprika.hu is now part of HolisticWow.com.

Despite being an essential spice in many recipes, most people just don’t know how many different types of paprika are available in the world. Although there are a few variants that are ideal for making most dishes, it’s a good thing to learn a bit more about paprika. Not only you can enhance the flavor of some of your favorite dishes, but you can also give them a whole new taste. Get to know more about the differences between different types of paprika!

Hungarian paprika vs Spanish paprika

Depending on the intensity and flavor, you should take the origin and types of paprika into consideration. These are the most popular ones!

Hungarian paprika

Paprika is the national spice of Hungary and it’s used in many of the country’s traditional dishes such as goulash, chicken paprikash or meat stew. In Hungary paprika can be found in most households, but not just one type. There are many different types in the stores: hot, mild, sweet, semi-sweet and so on. One of the most popular types of Hungarian paprika is called édesnemes or édes paprika (sweet) which has a bright red color and rich flavor. If you want to make a classic Hungarian dish, you can’t go wrong with édesnemes. This is also the type of Hungarian paprika that you can usually find in stores outside of Hungary.

Spanish paprika

The biggest difference between Hungarian and Spanish paprika is that the latter is usually made from smokey paprika. Spanish paprika or pimentón is ideal for people who prefer deep and smokey flavors. It’s usually available in sweet, mild and hot variants. Even though Spanish paprika has less variants than its Hungarian counterpart, you still have quite a few options to choose from. Spanish paprika is widely used for traditional Spanish dishes such as paella or gazpacho.

Chili powder vs paprika powder

Many people confuse chili powder and paprika powder, and for a good reason: in grounded form both look about the same. If you are a bit more experienced, you could tell which one is which judging by the color, but the biggest difference comes from the plant they are mode from.

Chili powder is made from the same pepper that gave its name: chili pepper is a popular condiment in Mexico and India and it has many different types. Of course, its biggest difference is the taste itself. In general, chili has a less deep flavor, but it makes up for it with its hotness. In most cases chili cannot be used as a replacement for Hungarian or Spanish paprika even though they look the same. The end result will be quite different, so before you start making a dish, make sure you have the right spice for the recipe. Some brands mix chili powder with paprika powder into one blend which results in a whole new flavor.

Sweet or smokey paprika – which one you should choose?

Paprika can not only be identified with its country of origin, but also by its intensity, flavor and aroma. Certain types of foods require a specific type of paprika, while in some cases the choice is up to you!

Sweet paprika

The édesnemes type is the most used Hungarian paprika that gives dishes a deep red color and rich taste. Perfect for those who prefer sweeter flavors, this variant is perfect for dishes such as chicken paprikash or goulash.

Smokey paprika

You can find both sweeter and hotter variants of smokey paprika in stores. Smokey paprika is usually made from Spanish peppers and it’s perfect if you go for a smokier and deeper flavor. Smokey paprika is generally the best for Spanish, Mexican and Indian dishes, however, some prefer the smokiness in Hungarian meals.