According to Hindu legend, paprika is said to have been named after a religious Indian figure named "Rysh Paprike."
Paprika is produced in a number of places including Spain, Hungary, and California. In the United States, paprika is frequently sprinkled on foods as a garnish, but the flavor is more effectively produced by heating it gently in oil.
Spanish Paprika (Pimentón) is available in three versions, mild (Pimentón Dulce), moderately spicy (Pimentón Agridulce), and very spicy (Pimentón Picante.) Some Spanish paprika, including Pimentón de la Vera has a distinct smokey flavor and aroma as it is dried by smoking, typically using oak wood.
Hungary is a major source of paprika and is thus more commonly used. The Netherlands is a major production and distribution source of paprika as well, especially grown in greenhouses.
Paprika can also be used with henna to bring a reddish tint to hair when coloring it. Paprika powder can be added to henna powder when prepared at home.
Capsicum peppers used for paprika are unusually rich in vitamin C, a fact discovered in 1932 by Hungary's 1937 Nobel prize-winner Albert Szent-Györgyi Much of the vitamin C content is retained in paprika, which contains more vitamin C than lemon juice by weight
Paprika is also high in other antioxidants, containing about 10% of the level found in açaí berries. Prevalence of nutrients, however, must be balanced against quantities ingested, which are generally negligible for spices.
Organic Spices is a local distributor in Fremont, CA. They offer gift boxes of organic and natural spices. A cool idea for a loved one who likes to cook! Check out their online store at Spicely. I have no connection with this business. Check here for coupons before ordering.