Thursday, February 12, 2009
Herb/Spice To Love-Paprika~
Paprika as we know and love has a very long and somewhat complicated history.
The word "capsicum" is thought to be of Latin origin. In the 1500's, pepper was called pimiento or pimienton in Spain.
Sweet pepper is now called pimiento as a whole fruit and pimienton in the ground form in that country.
The Greeks called it peperi or piperi, which is the ancient name for black pepper.
Paperika was the first fruit from which pure vitamin C was produced.
The Nobel prize winner Albent Szent-Gyorgyi,M.D.,Ph.D gave us this discovery in 1928 from Hungary.
Sweet peppers are an excellent source of Vitamin C, much richer in ascorbic acid than citrus fruits.
Paprika, as we in the kitchen reach for contains no volatile oils.
Antioxidants can and are added to preserve color as oleoresins are sensitive to light, oxidation and heat.
Paprika came to the new world in the 1800's and was called "tomato pepper."
Bell peppers as we know them were developed from these selections.
The history weaves its way from the 1500's through Hungary, Turkey, and on into the new world by way and movement of the Spaniards.
My favorite way to use paprika is on the grill. From meat to all vegetables, a light sprinkling of this interesting spice is like sampling a little bit of history on a plate.