Updated: Oct 28
Queridos Ladies and Gentelmen,
We are MYSYBARITAS your Spanish Gourmet Food Store in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur.
Today I would like to introduce you to our Paprika powder.
Paprika comes from Capiscum Annuum, which is actually the same family as the Bell Peppers. Paprika is a great addition to most meats Chicken, beef, also good for stews and hummus.
But let's talk about our Paprika, the Spanish Paprika, also called Red Gold. It comes from De La Vera, Caceres, Extremadura, in Spain. And it has its certificate of Origin "De la Vera" which is a staple of quality all around the world.
Smoked Paprika "Las Hermanas"
Paprika is a superb seasoning ingredient and a source of healthy nutritive components. It is a spice made from air-dried fruits of the chilli pepper. Paprika is native of central Mexico, which was brought to Spain in the 16th century, expanded then to Central Europe, Africa and Asia.
Paprika is produced only in a few countries, and its characteristics can vary from country to country, meaning that each paprika bright red colour, aroma and flavour is unique, depending on the pepper variety, region soil&climate, peppers cultivation care, facilities, technology, drying system applied, grinding and storage.
Paprika quality is based, among other important components shown up on its chemical analysis, on its colour strength (content of red carotenoid pigments) technically known and worldwide measured by the level of ASTA. (www.astaspice.org) Standard paprika stays within 90-110 ASTA, and we proudly offer Spanish paprika of the highest quality: from 150 to 200 ASTA! Depending on the harvest.
There are a few regions in Spain where paprika is produced. And nowhere else in the world peppers are slowly smoke-dried with firewood like in De La Vera, Cáceres, on central-west of Spain. Peppers are cultivated in small farms under this region microclimate and ecosystem, with its particular soil, sun and water resources, surrounded by the steep summits of Gredos Mountains and the extraordinary meadow bathed by the Tiétar River.
"Las Hermanas" is a longstanding family-run business started in 1940. This brand provides a high quality and homogeneous product. They exhaustively control both the cultivation of the pepper crop and the paprika making process. They also have implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) which integrates all the company processes and guarantees traceability.
Pepper seeds are planted in seedlings in March and are transplanted to the land on the first week of May, when there is no frost danger and the plants are already 15-20 cm height. Between March and May the crop soil is raised with a plow, about 30cm depth, to break the layers of hardened soil and thus to facilitate the growth of the roots and good water percolation. The plantation is done both by hand and mechanically, depending on the ground. The crop is abundantly watered immediately afterwards, and later on it is not watered more than once a week, so it does not soak.
From mid September and until the end of October Peppers are carefully handpicked on their perfect ripeness moment, placed in sacks and transported to dryers to be subjected to the traditional process of dehydration of these lands, following an environmentally friendly process.
Peppers are dehydrated by the smoke effect. The dryers are constructions of tile roof of variable dimensions (around 5 meters height) There is a ground floor, where the Holm-oak and Oak-tree burning fires are placed (the wood comes from controlled pruning), and a top floor, 2.5 meters height, where the peppers are deposited on a grid of wood ribbons separated between them by one centimetre, allowing hot air and smoke passing through.
It is important to light a good firewood, with a lot of ember and little flame. Care must be taken not to put out the fire Therefore, the farmer must take care day and night of the firewood facility. The drying process is slow, lasts from 10 to 15 days, dehydrating from 80% moisture to less than 15%. To achieve an homogenic drying, turning of the peppers is performed by hand daily.
This process of paprika production in La Vera, provides the necessary heat for the perfect dehydration of the peppers, contributing its distinct paprika three main characteristics: smoky aroma, luscious taste and bright color. The color stability is due to the high degree of naturally carotene fixation and to the addition of the exact amount of sunflower oil (≤1%) The beautiful, deep red color of this paprika, with total absence of artificial colorings, makes it aesthetically very pleasing.
Next, the dried peppers are taken to the mill, where the stalks and part of the cores are removed. Then, the peppers are ground in electric mills that have stone wheels. Heat from friction can be detrimental to the flavor and color of the paprika, so it is very important that the grinding process is done slowly. Grounding starts at the end of October until December. Once grounded, the paprika is stored refrigerated, with no light, in order to keep its freshness, then is packed in tins under request all year around.
This 100% natural smoked paprika has the full flavor of the ground peppers. De La Vera autochthonous pepper species encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes, both mild and hot, so the smoked paprika produced is available in three versions, depending on the blend of pepper species:
Sweet paprika, mild flavor, Jaranda and Bola pepper varieties
Bittersweet paprika, moderately spicy, Jaranda and Jariza pepper varieties
Hot paprika, very spicy, Jeromín, Jariza and Jaranda pepper varieties
Paprika is a great source of healthy nutritive components, such as:
Iron: indicated to prevent anemia.
Potassium: regulates blood pressure and contributes to the prevention of rheumatic diseases or arthritis.
Zinc: favors the assimilation of insulin, boosts the immune system and helps metabolizing proteins.
Vitamin A: prevents eye diseases, improves skin condition, and has anticancer properties.
Vitamin B2: indicated for stress problems, insomnia, anxiety and migraines.
Vitamin B1: anti-stress and antidepressant.
Vitamins B3, B5 and B6: improve blood circulation, suitable to prevent diabetes and cholesterol excess, help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin K: helps proper blood clotting and improves bone metabolism
Paprika is used as an ingredient in a broad variety of dishes throughout the world. This seasoning is used to add color and flavor to many types of dishes, as rice, stews and soups, such as goulash; and in the preparation of sausages or as an ingredient mixed with meats and other spices. The flavor is more effectively produced by heating it gently in oil.
I hope you enjoy the article!
Be First Class!