“Hungarian paprika is a LOT more than just color,” says The Professor. It tastes sweet and complex, though there is a hot version as well. “Real Hungarian paprika (and it’s accented on the first syllable) is a truly wonderful thing—bright, fruity, complex, with a sweet note even when it’s hot,” says sea97horse.

“To me it provides a deeper, more rounded heat than some of the other peppers,” says KaimukiMan. “Because it is a mild spice, you do have to use larger quantities of it than you might expect—which is why real Hungarian goulash is that wonderful reddish brown color (a color too many Americans think must be from tomato).”

Paprika loses its flavor quickly, though. Don’t let it get old, or it really will be little more than coloring. “Store it in the fridge and buy a new one at least twice a year,” advises sea97horse.

For a much stronger, completely different flavor, try smoked paprika. “But remember sometimes you just want to be subtle,” says bigfellow.

Board Link: Does Paprika add anything more than color?

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