Spices and herbs

Most of the time, herbs and spices in culinary practice have names from the plant that they are derived from. But paprika is something different. There is no such plant, root or seed that has the name of paprika. Then from where did this name come from? Which plant part provides is with this useful spice? This revelation came up in January 2023 for many on Twitter. And many Twitter users were shocked to learn about the source of this spice. Many were unhappy too.

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Spices and herbs

The names of most of the spices and herbs that are ingredients in food recipes around the world come from the plant, root, seed or such plant parts which yields them. For instance, cumin powder is from cumin plant seed and cinnamon powder is from cinnamon bark.

Spices and herbs
Sweet red bell peppers (Source: iStock)

What about paprika? Is it from the red chilies? Is there any plant by the name of paprika? Recently, in January 2023, someone tweeted about it. And Twitter users were amazed to learn about the origin of paprika.

Paprika origin

The origin of paprika is not from red chilies but from sweet red peppers. The answer had perplexed many Twitter users especially those from Australia. Earlier, they had no clue from where this powdered spice originates.

The red bell peppers or capsicum are first dried and later ground to get paprika. Mostly, the powder is from the Capsicum annuum varietals of the Longum group. The word paprika has an Hungarian origin. As they say:

‘It is a diminutive from Serbo-Croatian papar “pepper,” from Latin piper or Modern Greek piperi’.”

Twitter account, Make Oxtail Cheap Again had tweeted on 23 January 2023:

Learning that Paprika is just dried and crushed red bell peppers was really shocking. Like I dunno why I thought there was a Paprika tree somewhere.”

This tweet has garnered 7.7 million views and got 170k likes.

Spices and herbs
Paprika (Source: Health line)

Response and comments on this tweet

Most people were in the dark about the origin of paprika. And this tweet was a revelation for them. An eye opener!

One Twitter user commented to this tweet:

Wait .. what ?!! I don’t believe you! I’m actually in shock – I HATE capsicum.”

And a second wrote:

“They say you should never meet your heroes. I say you should never find out how your favourite spice is made,”

And a third revealed:

“I don’t know why I thought there was a paprika tree somewhere,”

Spices and herbs
Parika comes from sweet bell peppers (Source: Quora)

Another Twitter user remarked:


Another person queried:

So u mean it’s not hot? Or spicy? It’s just peppers? Fr?”

And to this, Make Oxtail Cheap Again replied in the affirmative. Another person joked and tweeted:

“You’re not as bad as me who didn’t realize Guacamole is just Avocados. I always thought it tasted familiar. SMH.”

One person wanted to know whether one can make paprika only from red peppers or from green and yellow Ines as well. And Make Oxtail Cheap Again replied:

It wouldn’t be Paprika if you used green or yellow but you could dry and crush them and make something new! If you do it let us know what the taste is like lmao.”

Read here: Quitting sugars: easy steps to achieve the goal

Another said:

“I thought its crushed red chillies until now lol.”

And another person revealed:

“Wow! What about smoked paprika? It’s just smoked red bell peppers? Weird because my husband hates red bell peppers but likes paprika! This is so funny!”