What's the difference between sweet & hot paprika?

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Senior Cook
Feb 22, 2003
the great fly-over
I use paprika a LOT, but many times, i see the distinction "sweet paprika" or "hot paprika" in my recipes.
I don't know about you guys, but at all the grocery stores i shop at, they only have "Paprika".
So, 2 questions:
1) Where do you get "sweet" or "hot" paprika?
2) If it's just labeled "Paprika", does that mean that it's a combination of the two, or that it is one or the other?
Being Hungarian and all you'd think I'd know my Paprika!! LOL

I don't really know if plain paprika is a combination - I know I have sweet Hungarian in my cabinets now - and I know hot paprika is hot, a little goes a long way!

Now I'm going to have to do some investigation!
Carnivore, this web site gives a lengthy and detailed dissertation on all aspects of Paprika - more than anyone needs to know.:)


In glancing through it, I got the impression that most paprika is ground from dried Bell peppers, but that a number of other peppers are used, giving a wide range of sweet or hot paprikas.

Chiles seem to have originated in the Western Hemisphere and were transplanted ot Europe and Asia. Hungary has a climate appropriate for their version of the Bell pepper, giving rise to the fame of Hungareian Paprika.
I like to use the sweet stuff myself. I just add a little crushed red pepper to the recipe if I need more heat. :)

The real Hungarian stuff like Pride of Szeged is a MUST. The South American or Spanish stuff just doesn't taste the same. Maybe Romanian, Serbian or Croation might be the same just as a function of geography, I dunno.
To ring the changes, there is also smoked parika, which is divine in soups and casseroles. We can't get liquid smoke in these here parts, so I search for anything with a smoky flavour. I found some hickory smoked salt the other day, and that is also delicious.

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