Pimentón is an essential item in your Spanish store cupboard. This Spanish smoked paprika is produced exclusively in the La Vera valley, in the province of Cáceres.
When the peppers are ripe, they are picked by hand and taken to drying chambers on the farms where they are dried using smoke rising from a fire of oak wood below. This results in a slow, gentle drying process so that, after a period of ten to fifteen days, the moisture content of the fruits has dropped from 80% to less than 15%. After drying, the product has a smoked flavour and aroma.
They are then crushed to a powder using stone mills and the resultant product is available as dulce (mild), agri-dulce (medium) and picante (hot). It is used extensively in Spanish cookery.