How Smoked Paprika is Made

Paprika de la Vera is a product with a smoky flavor and aroma due to the smoke-drying process of the peppers. Its coloring is red and it has a great coloring power in dishes. The flavor, aroma and color are stable given the slow dehydration process used in its preparation.

If you are fond of gastronomy or you simply like to cook, you are surely aware of the incredible treasure that spices are. With very little, they have the incredible power to completely transform the flavor of a dish, so you cannot overlook them in your elaborations.

The paprika de la Vera is produced in the homonymous region, in the municipalities of Cuacos de Yuste, Jaraíz de la Vera, Aldeanueva de la Vera, Jarandilla de la Vera, Losar de la Vera and Madrigal de la Vera, northeast of Extremadura. The headquarters of the regulatory council of the Denomination of Origin are located in Jaraíz de la Vera.

If you walk through this area, irrigated by the river La Vera, in Cáceres, at the beginning of autumn you will see, besides large tobacco plantations, the paprika fields. A smell of oak wood smoke takes us to the paprika and tobacco drying rooms that are located near the plots, to discover the elaboration of a unique product, very special and common to all Spanish cuisine.

Its history

The history of this condiment dates back to the 16th century. It was then that the monks of the Yuste monastery began to grow peppers to make paprika in this region of Cáceres.

The unique environment and the know-how of the Jerónimos monks who inhabited this monastery gave rise to the recipe that we know today and that later spread among the agricultural families of the region. The quality of the product led to its success and prestige, becoming one of the emblems of La Vera.

Due to its taste, three types of paprika from La Vera are distinguished.

  • Sweet: made with the Bola and Jaranda varieties
  • Bittersweet: made with the Jaranda and Jariza varieties
  • Spicy: made with the Jeromín variety

How is Extremadura paprika made?

One of the aspects that characterize it is its careful craftsmanship, a process through which the aroma, flavor and color that define this product are achieved. Nothing like the taste of products made with care and affection by expert hands, right?

It all starts with selecting the best specimens, which are subjected to a slow drying process. To do this, the peppers are exposed to a heat source, normally from the burning of oak or holm oak, for 10 to 15 days. In this period of time, the workers carefully turn each of the peppers to achieve the desired state.

After removing certain parts, such as the seeds or the stem, is when they are ready to move on to the next step: grinding in stone mills. If the process is rigorously followed, the result will be nothing other than a fine, uniform, deep red powder.

This spice, so highly valued in the world of gastronomy for its unique flavor, has the La Vera designation of origin, which guarantees the quality of the product as well as the entire production process.

If you have not yet had the privilege of trying the unmistakable flavor of this paprika, we recommend that you encourage yourself to introduce it in your next recipes.

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