Saturday, January 30, 2010

JOY, in spice format.

I wish you could smell this spice. (try to scatch-n-sniff your screen) It is so fabulous. My friend's mom gave me a tin of this several years ago & I thought whoopdee doo, the only thing you do with paprika is sprinkle some on deviled eggs, for a dash of color. Except it smelled really good. Really, really good. Did I mention the friend's mom is a Cordon Bleu trained chef & taught me how to make souffle? Nonetheless, it sat in my cupboard for some time, as I finished off a tiny container of the dash of color paprika. I should have had more faith in her gifting abilities. So the first dish I put it in was a boneless pork rib recipe, I'd made it before and it was good, I really thought that the paprika in the recipe was just to add a dash of color & the cumin & chili pepper were doing all the work. This time it was phenomenal! The tin went from sitting in the cupboard, to my new favorite spice. I was adding this special paprika to everything I could think of, then tragedy...I realized I was almost out!!! I hoarded the last 1/4 of the tin. Now the gift giver lives in NYC and I knew she could get it easy. I combed the higher end grocery stores and couldn't find it, only the lame american color dash version. I had an awkward conversation with a store employee, who was like but we have paprika, right here. No, no, smoked spanish paprika! It's different! Then I turned to the internet and found success. But do I order just 1 tin? And there were 3 versions, hot, sweet and bittersweet. Who knew, what kind did I have, panic? Luckily, I had saved the tin, and figured out I had the sweet version. Available in a 4 pack, phew, that way I wouldn't run out!! Then foolishly I shared my stash, and ended up with only 2 tins for myself. Silly me. But at least I had a source. Now why is this so good? I mean essentially it's just bits of dried red pepper. Well apparently the spaniards do it old school, like hand smoking those peppers over only oak logs. In short if you sprinkled this on your deviled eggs, the eggs would thank you!
So why the ranting & raving about this precious, delicious spice. Well, seriously, it's that good. The alchemy it does when mixed with pork should be illegal. And today I got a new 4-pack in the mail. Oh JOY!, I love you.