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Spanish Seasoning

Spanish Seasoning

Popular seasoning for Spanish dishes includes saffron and smoked paprika. Spanish seasoning gives Spain's dishes its unique taste.

Spain is one of the leading producers and exporters of saffron. Spanish saffron is considered of the highest quality in the world, especially when it comes from Valencia or La Mancha.

Spanish Saffron

Saffron was first introduced into Spain by the Moors, who referred to it as az-zafaran, meaning yellow. The word was later incorporated into Spanish as azafran. Saffron is considered the world’s most expensive spice by weight simply because it must be harvested and processed by hand and it is necessary to use between 400 and 500 flowers for just one gram of saffron. The crocus flower (Crocus sativus) is picked and the stigma are carefully removed and roasted. Saffron comes in two forms: strands and powder. Buy the strand form simply because the powdered version is easier to adulterate. If you want powdered saffron, all you have to do is grind the strands using a mortar . Accept no substitutes for the real thing like Spanish Saffron. It will not only contributes its unusual color to a dish, but also add a unique flavor and only a small amount is needed. You will find below selected recipes with Spanish Saffron.

Paella Spices

Recipes for the Spanish paella rice dish typically include saffron, paprika, garlic and salt. The paella Valencia also may also include thyme or rosemary and the seafood paella may include bay leaves.

Spanish Recipes with Saffron

 

Smoked Paprika

Pimentón, or smoked Spanish paprika, can be sweet and mild (dulce), bittersweet (agridulce), or piquant (picante). The mild climate and plentiful rains where the peppers are cultivated, together with the smoke-drying process, give Spanish paprika its unique aroma and flavor. It is an essential spice in Spanish cooking.

The spicy taste of pepper is due to the presence in the fleshy part of the fruit of various compounds among which capsaicin. The red color characteristic of this species is due to the presence of different pigments, located in both the skin and the fleshy part of the fruit, the main responsibility a carotenoid called capsanthin. Currently, there are two regions in Spain, Murcia and Extremadura, where high-quality paprika is produced.

Paprika is a spice widely used in Spain and Portugal. It is used to provide its characteristic flavor and color to different vegetable dishes, pasta, meat, poultry. It is also an essential ingredient in some sausages, which it gives flavor and reddish color, such as the chorizo.

Recipes with Spanish Paprika

  • Pulpo a la Gallega
  • Romesco Sauce
  • Patatas Bravas
  • Spanish Garlic Shrimp
  • Seafood Paella
  • Paella Valenciana
  • Paella with Grilled Lobster
  • Fiduea