People have been left gobsmacked after finding out what paprika is actually made from.
Paprika is used in various dishes from paella to chicken fajitas, so you’d think most people would have a rough idea of what it is.
However, if several recent internet revelations are anything to go by, you’d be very wrong.
Australian Instagram influencer Nutra Organics has caused one hell of a stir amongst her followers after delving into the truth behind the production process of paprika.
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Taking to Twitter, users seem utterly baffled by the revelation of the process of making the popular spice.
One person comments: “I didn’t think there was a paprika tree, but I for sure thought it was some kind of spice blend or like its own thing that they just powdered.”
Another writes: “I also thought there was a curry tree and that allspice was a combination of spices.”
As the Nutra Organics post has revealed, paprika is derived from crushed and ground sweet and mild peppers. Spicier peppers were originally introduced to Europe by the early Spanish explorers of the Americas.
Taking to the social media platform, the foodie writes: “Learning that paprika is just dried and crushed red capsicum was really shocking.
“I don’t know why I thought there was a paprika tree somewhere.”
The popular seasoning, which foods in Hungary and Spain typically contain, is made by drying capsicum and then grinding it into a fine dust.
Paprika can be made using bell peppers, cayenne peppers, Aleppo peppers, or sweet peppers.
The pepper must be first left to dry out, before being ground up using a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
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Throughout the years, European cultivators selectively bred milder variations of the plant, resulting in a significantly sweeter flavour profile.
For individuals interested in creating their own smoked paprika, a sought-after ingredient in meat rubs and ranch dressings, the initial step involves smoking the peppers over an oak fire before proceeding with the drying process.
In short, paprika doesn’t have its own tree, as that tree is already used for perfectly ordinary peppers.