We usually associate paprika with dishes from Europe — Spain, Greece, Hungary, Romania and particularly Hungary, — but the fact is, paprika is native to the Americas. Paprika is made from ground chili peppers (specifically, the Capsicum genus), a fruit that grows most prolifically in the Desert Southwest and northern South America.
Paprika is used as a spice and a food coloring. It is less spicy that other powders made of chili — cayenne, for example — but is exceptional with regard to health. The chilies paprika are made of provide over 300% of the daily recommended amount of Vitamin C per 100 grams. By comparison, citrus fruits — oranges, for example — provide around 90% (1).
Capsicum chilies are higher in Vitamin C than any other fruits or vegetables in the world. Paprika is an appropriate spice to cook with when the objective is to make dishes as tasty and healthy as possible. This is true regardless of what kind of diet you are following.
One of the reasons that paprika is an excellent food supplement is that there are a variety of different paprika products. However, just like any other food product, there are both good and bad paprika products.
The top six paprika products are:
6) Szeged Hungarian Paprika
The Hungarians take their paprika extremely seriously. Though Capsicum chilies do not grow in the Hungarian climate, we Americans must admit that the Hungarians have perfected the art of making paprika chili powder. The two most popular paprikas in Hungary are Szeged and Kalocsa, namesakes of two cities in Hungary. While it’s debatable which brand has better flavor — and the Hungarians debate the question to the extreme, — Szeged is the easiest to find in the States.
5) Chiquilin Smoked Paprika
The Spanish use smoked paprika, which goes through a different manufacturing process than the paprika powder we use here in the Americas, similar to the way we use pepper. The Spaniards put smoked paprika in and on everything. Though smoked paprika powder does not have the same health benefits as that which we use here in the Americas — it is refined to the point that many of the vitamins become benign, — the exceptional flavor can not be denied.
4) S&B Chili Oil with Crunchy Garlic
A Japanese condiment, S&B Chili Oil — the brand name of the best tasting taberu rayu — this chili oil contains fried garlic and sesame seeds. Other brands of taberu rayu often contain fried shrimp, but this limits the potential foods for which this condiment can be used as a condiment.
S&B Chili oil goes great with noodles, rice, vegetables, sushi, and other condiments such as wasabi and ginger. It is a more flavorful and healthier than soy sauce which makes it a great alternative for those hoping to keep their sodium intake to a minimum.
3) Chilean Olive Oil with Merquen
The chilies used to make Chilean Olive Oil — Goat Horn Cayenne — are of the Capsicum genus which makes it very similar to paprika. While these chilies in this concoction may be too spicy to be considered a paprika when ground into a powder, the olive oil tempers the edge of the chili powder. The effect of the chili powder and olive oil combination are very similar to that experienced when eating foods spiced with paprika.
Regardless, Chilean Olive Oil with Merquen is exquisite. If there was not a paprika-or-not debate with this product, it would justifiably be number one or two on the list.
2) Longan Chili Paste Nam Prik Pao Thailand
One of the most popular condiments in Thailand, prik pao’s principal ingredient is tom yum. However, it is paprika that gives namprik pao its savory spice. The Thai use prik pao to spice up their rice, vegetables and noodles as well as their pork, fowl, and fish.
Of the namprik pao chili pastes, Longan is among the tastiest.
1) Simply Organic Paprika Ground Certified Organic
This product is a powder. Paprika in its simplest form, this powder is also in its best form. The most noticeable difference between Simply Organic Paprika and other products is the visible inconstancy.
Simply Organic — while it grinds the chilies into a fine powder — include the flesh as-well-as parts of the seeds and stems. That means every part of the chili is used in order to include the best of the entire chili.