Paprika is a well-known spice, a powder made from the pepper plant known scientifically as Capsicum annuum. Paprika may be sweet or hot due to the way it is prepared and the type of pepper used in its preparation. The method of drying the pepper used is one of the most important factors in maintaining the nutritional benefits of paprika. Sun-dried peppers retain their nutritional benefits and do not lose them, unlike other methods used in drying, which lose the product’s nutritional benefits. it is used in preparing many dishes and recipes, such as main meals containing chicken and fish, salads and soups, and sauces such as cheese sauce and tomato sauce.
The history of paprika
The word paprika refers to the powder made from the pepper plant, but some European countries use the word paprika to refer specifically to the pepper plant or to any fruit that has the shape of a bell. it is made from sweet peppers of different colors, as well as from hot peppers. The original home is in southern Mexico, Central America, and the Antilles, where the Indians used it to heal wounds and as a kind of spice, then Christopher Columbus transported it to Europe
To learn about the benefits, it is necessary to know the benefits of the pepper fruits from which it is made, including:
- Pepper is used to treat digestive problems, such as upset stomachs, stomach pain, and gas.
- Pepper is good for the heart; it helps to stimulate blood circulation and prevents increased blood clotting, high cholesterol, and heart disease.
- The pepper from which paprika is made is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and natural sugar.
- Pepper is used to treat toothaches, seasickness, malaria, and fever.
- It is useful in combating the growth of cancer cells and preventing prostate cancer thanks to its richness in capsaicin and antioxidants.
- Eating paprika is useful for the renewal of skin cells and protection from ultraviolet rays because it contains capsaicin.
it is used in preparing a wide range of dishes all over the world, and is especially popular in Hungary and neighbouring countries.It is an essential ingredient in Mexican and Portuguese cuisines. Paprika is used in many European countries to prepare sausages, and it is also used to season and color many dishes, such as rice, soups, and stews.
it should be bought in small quantities and stored in tightly closed containers away from sunlight and kept in a dry and cool place so that the temperature is between 4 -15 degrees Celsius to keep its color. Light and prolonged storage affect the stability of the pigments beta-carotene and capsaicin, which causes the paprika to lose its color. it can also be placed in the refrigerator or freezer to retain its color and flavor for a longer period of time.