Pimenton smoked paprika PowderVale de la Vera, Extremadura.
Pimentón Smoked Paprika Powder is the spice of Spanish cooking. They produce it now for centuries in this Spanish region, in the western province of Extremadura. Today the Spanish Pimetón is famous around the Globe.
This spice in history
We know now that our great navigator and visionary Christopher Columbus brought around 1493 the Paprika plants to Spain on his second trip from Central America. But few know who was the first to use them as a spice. Today it is believed that the monks of the Guadalupe Monastery in Extremadura, were the first to recognize the advantages and culinary versatility of the spicy fruits of this plant.
The monks were known for their delicious cuisine. There are no specific manuscripts, but this idea leads to the theory of food, that historians are right. That is, the chilies were initially grown in the monastery gardens, and later spread by pilgrim monks throughout Spain. And as a result, slowly but methodically, across Europe. Spanish and Portuguese traders seeing interest in the product, and its positive economic impacts took them on their trips to Africa. Overtime to India and other regions of South Asia.
Paprika and Christopher Columbus
So in less than a hundred years, after the lovable Columbus had brought them laboriously to Spain, the chili plants spread all over the world. On an economic level, this led to a fallout in the prices of these spices. The regions that received these new plants in return were in a position to expand their diet.
In the Sixteenth Century, the Pimenton had a magnificent development in the valley of La Vera. While reading Janet Mendel's book Traditional Spanish Cuisine you get another version. It would seem that it all began with Emperor Charles I, around 1555. Once he left the Spanish throne, he went to live in the Monastery of Yuste, as his last residence (Cuacos de Yuste) and here he began to appreciate this paprika. The interest was to the point of recommending it to his sister, nothing less than Queen Mary of Hungary. Today we can also clearly reconnect the development of paprika in Hungary and the Balkan region, precisely for this event.
The paprica, the monks' secret spice.
Thus, even the ecclesiastical secrecy of monks as reserved as they were not inclined to disclose it in the early years, was lost. This allowed new plant crossings to be allowed to be made available to other nations. By the mid-19th century, Spanish chilies (paprika) were produced on a large scale. It was not until the beginning of the century that the name Pimenton came along. Today, production has become a specialty and is the main source of income in this region. The famous smoked chili powder also enjoys the designation of origin.
Use in the kitchen of spicy smoked Paprika
Spicy smoked Pimenton lends itself like dessert, to all the preparations already described in our sweet Pimenton page.
How to store it
We remind you that for proper use in the maintenance of spices, to lay the product once purchased, in possibly airtight glass jars. More practical than cans for those who like to reuse packages. The glass allows you to preserve, even in a small way, the environment. To keep the color alive of this excellent spice, store it in a dry environment, and avoid exposure to the Sun. Sun tends to discolor the product over time.