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A sweet but sassy relative of the chili pepper, paprika is used to add warm, natural color and mildly spicy flavor to soups, stews, grains, and a variety of hors d'ouvres.
Botanical name: Capsicum annuum L. var. annuum , Capsicum annuum
Also known as sweet red pepper or pimento pepper, the paprika (Capsicum annuum) is larger and much milder than the chili pepper. An herbaceous annual that grows 20 to 60 inches in height, it's sometimes woody on the bottom, with leaves that are dark green on top and lighter underneath. The flowers are white and the fruit starts out green, then turns red, brown, or purple; the red fruit is harvested for paprika.
Domestic paprika has a fresh, green quality, while the Spanish variety is more pungent and the Hungarian is more lively. Spanish and Hungarian paprikas have become more alike, though, as the Hungarian peppers are now bred to taste more like the sweeter Spanish peppers. They still look different, though; Hungarian and domestic peppers are more pointed, while those from Spain are smaller and rounder. Hotter paprikas are now often obtained by adding cayenne to the powder to punch up the heat.