Smoked Paprika Las Hermanas
truly red gold, unique in its class
Protected Designation of Origin: La Vera, Cáceres
Origin: La Vera, Cáceres
Tins of 70g/2.47oz (40 units per box)
Tins of 100g/3.53oz (40 units per box)
Tins of 750g/26.46oz (12 units per box)
Bulk formats available
Paprika is a superb seasoning ingredient and source of healthy nutritive components. It´s a spice made from air-dried fruits of the chili pepper family of the species Capsicum Annuum, native of central Mexico, which was brought to Spain in the 16th century, expanded then to Central Europe, Africa and Asia.
Paprika is produced only in a few countries, and its characteristics can vary from country to country, meaning that each paprika´s bright red color, aroma and flavor is unique, depending on the peppers´ variety, region´s soil&climate, peppers´ cultivation care, facilities´ technology, drying system applied, grinding and storage.
Paprika´s quality is based, among other important components shown up on its chemical analysis, on its color strength (content of red carotenoid pigments) technically known and worldwide measured by the level of ASTA (www.astaspice.org) Standard paprika stays within 90-110 ASTA, and we proudly offer Spanish paprika of the highest quality: from 150 to 200 ASTA! depending on the harvest, ensuring a lifetime of 18 months. It´s a seasonal product.
There are a few regions in Spain where paprika is produced. And nowhere else in the world peppers are slowly smoke-dried with firewood like in La Vera, Cáceres, on central-west of Spain. Peppers are cultivated in small farms under this region´s microclimate and ecosystem, with its particular soil, sun and water resources, surrounded by the steep summits of Gredos Mountains and the extraordinary meadow bathed by the Tiétar River.
Las Hermanas is a longstanding family-run business started in 1940. This brand provides a high quality and homogeneous product. They exhaustively control both the cultivation of the pepper crop and the paprika making process; and have implemented an Enterprise Resource Planning System (ERP) which integrates all the company processes and guarantees traceability.
Fresh, totally red, sane and clean peppers of the species Capsicum Annum, Ocalea variety (mostly Jaranda, Jariza, Jeromín and Bola (Sub-species Cerasiforme and Longum)) are used in the production of this unique smoked paprika, PDO La Vera.
Pepper seeds are planted in seedlings in March and are transplanted to the land on the first week of May, when there is no frost danger and the plants are already 15-20 cm height. Between March and May the crop soil is raised with a plow, about 30cm depth, to break the layers of hardened soil and thus to facilitate the growth of the roots and good water percolation. The plantation is done both by hand and mechanically, depending on the ground. The crop is abundantly watered immediately afterwards, and later on it´s not watered more than once a week, not to soak.
From mid September and until the end of October, the peppers are carefully handpicked on their perfect ripeness moment, placed in sacks and transported to dryers to be subjected to the traditional process of dehydration of these lands, totally respectful with the environment.
Peppers are dehydrated by the smoke effect. The dryers are constructions of tile roof of variable dimensions (around 5 meters height) There is a ground floor, where the Holm-oak and Oak-tree burning fires are placed (the wood comes from controlled pruning); and a top floor, 2.5 meters height, where the peppers are deposited on a grid of wood ribbons separated between them by one centimeter, allowing hot air and smoke passing through.
It is important to light good firewood, of a lot of ember and little flame. Care must be taken not to put out the fire; therefore, the farmer must take care day and night of the firewood facility. The drying process lasts from 10 to 15 days, dehydrating from 80% moisture to less than 15%. To achieve uniformity in the drying of the peppers, a turn of the peppers is performed by hand daily.
This process of paprika production in La Vera provides the necessary heat for the perfect dehydration of the peppers, contributing its distinct paprika´s three main characteristics: smoky aroma, luscious taste and bright color. The color stability is due to the high degree of naturally carotene fixation and to the addition of the exact amount of sunflower oil (≤1%) The beautiful, deep red color of this paprika, with total absence of artificial colorings, makes it aesthetically very pleasing.
Next, the dried peppers are taken to the mill, where the stalks and part of the cores are removed. Then, the peppers are ground in electric mills that have stone wheels. Heat from friction can be detrimental to the flavor and color of the paprika, so it is very important that the grinding process is done slowly. Grounding starts at the end of October until December. Once grounded, the paprika is stored refrigerated, with no light, in order to keep its freshness, and it´s packed in tins under request all year around.
This 100% natural smoked paprika has the full flavor of the ground peppers. La Vera autochthonous pepper species encompasses a wide variety of shapes and sizes, both mild and hot, so the smoked paprika produced is available in three versions, depending on the blend of pepper species:
Sweet paprika, mild flavor, Jaranda and Bola pepper varieties
Bittersweet paprika, moderately spicy, Jaranda and Jariza pepper varieties
Hot paprika, very spicy, Jeromín, Jariza and Jaranda pepper varieties
Paprika is used as an ingredient in a broad variety of dishes throughout the world. This seasoning is used to add color and flavor to many types of dishes, as rice, stews and soups, such as goulash; and in the preparation of sausages or as an ingredient mixed with meats and other spices. The flavor is more effectively produced by heating it gently in oil.
Paprika is a great source of healthy nutritive components, as:
Iron: indicated to prevent anemia.
Potassium: regulates blood pressure and contributes to the prevention of rheumatic diseases or arthritis.
Zinc: favors the assimilation of insulin, boosts the immune system and helps metabolizing proteins.
Vitamin A: prevents eye diseases, improves skin condition, and has anticancer properties.
Vitamin B2: indicated for stress problems, insomnia, anxiety and migraines.
Vitamin B1: anti-stress and antidepressant.
Vitamins B3, B5 and B6: improve blood circulation, suitable to prevent diabetes and cholesterol excess, help prevent heart disease and cancer.
Vitamin K: helps proper blood clotting and improves bone metabolism