A roundup of the best and freshest paprikas from around the world. Featuring all types - from hot Spanish smoked paprika and pimenton de la vera to sweet Hungarian paprika.  Like all spices, paprika has different grades and freshness, so make sure you're buying the freshest you can, as its flavor dissipates quickly and will otherwise taste chalky.



Fresh paprika has the flavor of freshly ground paprika peppers, all growing from different regions with different heat levels. Sweet paprika will have a warm flavor and slight bitterness from freshly ground, ripe peppers. Semi-sweet paprika will have a bit more bite and hot paprika will carry some heat - but it will be more nuanced than cayenne or red pepper flakes. For sweet paprika, our go to is Hungarian sweet paprika, which is ranked among the best in the world. Half-sharp Hungarian has all the rich flavor of sweet paprika, with a sharp heat. The beautiful, deep red color of the California paprika makes it aesthetically pleasing. 

Recently new on the spices scene is Spanish smoked paprika, also known as pimentón. Whereas Hungarian paprikas are dried slowly in the sun, Spanish paprika is smoked slowly over a fire, creating a wonderful rich and smokey flavor and giving a warm, complex flavor profile to many dishes. Smoked paprika, or pimenton, also comes in various degrees of heat, from dulce (sweet) to picante (hot). 

While the desire to sprinkle on paprika as a garnish is high, the best way to release paprika's flavor is to heat it in oil for a few seconds, then adding something water-based. For comfort food dishes, especially Hungarian inspired one, like chicken paprikash or goulash, stick to the unsmoked Hungarian paprikas- we particularly prefer sweet or semi-sweet paprika for these. Spanish smoked paprika, on the other hand, will add a warm, complex flavor profile to dishes like deviled eggs or roasted chicken.


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