Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cheap spices: paprika

I'm replacing old spices as I organize. Since we were almost out of paprika, I bought this jumbo bottle for $2.29 at the international market. I've always read that Hungarian paprika is superior to the grocery store variety. Was this foreign bottle worth its salt?

Big Lots "Encore" paprika costs 50 cents for a 2.82 oz bottle, or 18 cents an ounce.
Ziyad Hungarian Paprika cost 2.45 for 7 oz, or 35 cents an ounce--almost double.
Big Lots Encore paprika was lighter orange; Hungarian paprika was more red.
Both had a mild smell. The Hungarian paprika had a slightly stronger flavor, a tiny bit deeper and smokier.

Conclusion: Big Lots Encore paprika is the better value, particularly if it's used mainly for garnishing deviled eggs or adding color to a spice rub. Since there was so little difference in taste, I think the difference is overrated--or the Hungarian paprika I bought isn't actually the good stuff.

I also learned I don't much care for the taste of raw paprika. Blech!

--->Click here for our Cheap Spice: Cinnamon taste test


Marie said...

Ah, but try Watkins cinnamon or pepper next to any other brand, and be prepared to have your socks knocked off!

(I am admittedly a biased Watkins lady)

Indie Pereira said...

I don't know anything about paprika, but spices are pretty much always better from the international market. The stuff in the regular grocery stores has almost no taste or smell. I've bought spices in bulk though not in a jar. Maybe that's the difference.

Anonymous said...

Marie, I was hoping you'd lend us your expertise.

I might just have to buy some Watkins spices--for research, of course!

Indie, I haven't found bulk spices at the international market yet. Perhaps I should buy a teeny bit from Wild Oats to compare?

Marie said...

Hi Meredith - email me your address and I'll send you a free sample of cinnamon, and pepper when I get it.

Marie said...

Oops I did not leave an email address -

Free cinnamon samples to anyone who wants them!

Anonymous said...

I remember reading your thoughts on spices way back on your blog. I tried to find the article which included mention of Encore spices using your search on your site but all it brought up was todays mention. I thought you hinted then that Encore spices were maybe just that...encores rebottled from other spice manufacturers. Have you found this to be true? If so, are they rebottled older spices..or fresh right from the manufacturer? Since reading the origional thought on them {which I may have misunderstood??}..I have avoided buying the Encore brand. could you clear this up for us?

Anonymous said...

I happen to work for encore Spices. We are the direct importer and manufacturer of the bottled spices for which you buy at your local retailer. We purchase in great quantity spices directly from growers around the world, we also blend many specific recipes to create very tasty seasonings.

We pass the savings from our purchasing and manufacturing efficiencies onto our loyal consumers and work on sales volumes (which are tremendous with the low retail price) rather than high profit margins.