|pimentón de La Vera picante - Spanish hot smoked paprika from the La Vera region|
The latest addition to my pantry is a tin of hot smoked paprika from the La Vera Region in Spain (pimentón de La Vera picante) and it's my new favourite condiment. This gorgeous, flavoursome spice is made by drying and smoking peppers over smouldering oak for two weeks, turning daily, and then stone-milling to a finely ground powder. Sounds pretty darn delicious! I couldn't wait to experience it...
I flipped open the lid of the spice tin, and shook out a little onto my hands. The colour was a deep, sensual red - I can see why they call it the red gold from Spain. I breathed in deeply. The smell was sultry and intoxicating. There's definitely smokiness and heat, and it's rich and complex. I licked it off my fingers for a little taste. Mmm, piquant. Those who have eaten good spicy Spanish chorizo will have some idea of what this smells and tastes like. If you're interested in getting some, fine food stores with a selection of gourmet items should stock them. The brand I have is La Dalia. There is also a sweet, mild version (dulce) and medium, bittersweet (agridulce) - these I am yet to try.
I recently applied this to my spicy coffee toffees... and I have made another simple dish since then which I shall post soon, with more in the works - I'm so enamoured with this I think it's going to be difficult to restrain myself from adding a pinch here and there, everywhere! Stay tuned!!
Are you familiar with Spanish hot smoked paprika? What do you like it with?