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What Are Paprika Potatoes?

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  • Written By: H. Bliss
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 28 August 2016
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Paprika potatoes are potatoes that have been seasoned primarily with paprika. These potatoes can be boiled or fried, but are usually roasted or baked. Since paprika potatoes are common as a homemade dish, many variations on this recipe exist, and there is no one traditional type of paprika potato. Paprika is generally brightly red in color, so it lends its bright red color to the potato dishes it flavors.

Potatoes seasoned in this manner often are cut into chunks or slender fries, though they are sometimes served as mashed potatoes. Many types of potatoes are used to make this dish. Generally, cooks choose potato types based on how well they cook in the chosen method.

When making roasted paprika potatoes, most cooks use small potatoes, like red potatoes, cut into quarters with paprika and other spices dusted on the outside. Fried paprika potatoes are often made of large brown russet potatoes that have been sliced into fries. Mashed paprika potatoes can also be made from many types of potatoes that have been steamed, boiled, or baked then mashed. Pan fried potatoes are made of potato chunks of many types. Since they are tender and cook quickly, using canned new potatoes can be a fast way to make many types of paprika potatoes at home.

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A potato is a starchy edible crop classified as a tuber. Potatoes grow as an underground part of the plant, and have marked indentations called eyes from which new potato plants can sprout. Paprika is essentially a spice of smoked dried powdered peppers. Usually, the smoke flavor in paprika is mild, and some varieties of paprika are made from peppers that have only been dried, not smoked. Paprika that has been prepared so it has a distinct smoky flavor is called smoked paprika.

Smoked paprika and sweet paprika are the most common types of paprika used on paprika potatoes, but some chefs use spicier paprika blends. Paprika is often graded by its hotness. Usually, paprika is labeled hot, medium, or mild based on how spicy the paprika is. The seeds are the center of spiciness in a pepper, so in general, the spicier the paprika, the more of the pepper seeds were included in the dried pepper mixture when it was ground into paprika powder.

When considering types of paprika, it is not only the flavor type that is important, but also where the spice came from. Paprikas grown and prepared in different countries have different flavors. The most common types of paprika used in cooking include Hungarian paprika and Spanish paprika, but many South American countries, like Peru, also manufacture paprika.

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