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PAPRIKA (Spices)

Chef James,
Maybe you can help me. After a very cool and wet summer in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle), my Hungarian paprika (peppers) took a long time to grow, but in the end my three plants produced a nice crop. The problem is they never ripened to red. I had to finally pick them this last weekend between rain showers in order to put my garden to bed for the winter. Do you know if they will ripen (turn red) if I put them in brown paper bags and store in the kitchen where it's somewhat warm?     Bonnie


Hello Bonnie,
Put some in a brown paper bag with an apple (apples naturally produce ethylene gas with promotes fruits & vegetables to ripen).  Do not put them in a warm place - just room temperature.     Also, put some on an inside window ledge. (Bright, but not all day direct sun). These will ripen slower than the ones in paper bags.

I suggest both methods since how much further they will ripen and resulting quality depends on many factors (specific variety, growing  conditions, etc.)  There is no way of knowing how red they will turn.

Chef James,

1 pound paprika = 4 cups
1 tablespoon = 1/4 ounce

Paprika should be considered a semi-perishable product and treated as such. It should be stored in a cool dry place. In hot climates it should be stored at 40-60°F (4-15°C). This will aid in color retention.

Paprika deteriorates quickly so it should be purchased in small quantities and kept in airtight containers away from sunlight.

Most paprika is mild and slightly sweet in flavor with a pleasantly fragrant aroma.


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