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Is cayenne pepper & hot paprika the same thing?
August 16, 2005 8:19 AM   Subscribe

Can some one tell me what the difference is between cayenne pepper and hot paprika? I am following a recipe that calls for cayenne papper, but all I have in the house is the hot paprika. Are they they the same things?
posted by Maishe to Food & Drink (21 answers total)
 
Not quite...

Wikipedia:
Paprika
Cayenne
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:26 AM on August 16, 2005


They are not the same thing, and have distinctly different flavors -- but you could probably substitute one for the other in an emergency (unless the pepper flavor is a focus of the dish).
posted by ook at 8:29 AM on August 16, 2005


The heat factor is going to be completely different between these two peppers. Paprika seems to hover around 500 scoville units. Cayenne is in the 30,000 to 50,000 scoville units.
posted by onhazier at 8:50 AM on August 16, 2005


Do you have any chile powder? That would be closer.
posted by Miko at 8:54 AM on August 16, 2005


That's not really true in this case though, onhazier. There is also a hot paprika (which I've only tried once) and it is quite a lot spicier than regular paprika. I don't recall how it compares with cayenne, but It'd probably be a relatively safe play...
posted by vernondalhart at 8:56 AM on August 16, 2005


If I were trying to substitute, I'd actually just use a lot of black pepper rather than the paprika.

However, this site backs up either your hot paprikia or Miko's chile powder suggestions.
posted by occhiblu at 8:58 AM on August 16, 2005


Paprika seems to hover around 500 scoville units. Cayenne is in the 30,000 to 50,000 scoville units.

That very much depends on what kind of paprika you're using. The hot paprika I get from Kalyustan's blows away any cayenne I've ever used.
posted by spicynuts at 9:10 AM on August 16, 2005


hmmm... I shall have to investigate further. Clearly a taste comparison is in order. Thanks for the info.
posted by onhazier at 9:42 AM on August 16, 2005


Chili powder tastes nothing like cayenne to me. Chili powder is very flavorful, but generally is not very spicy, whereas cayenne is almost all fire and not a lot of flavor.
posted by wsg at 9:50 AM on August 16, 2005


The amount of cayenne you need is probably quite small, so I doubt you'll get any "bad" flavor from doing a substitution. You'll have to see for yourself how spicy the paprika is and adjust accordingly.
posted by O9scar at 9:54 AM on August 16, 2005


Cayenne pepper and paprika are two totally different things. As others have said, chile powder is a better substitute for paprika, but chile is earthy where paprika is sweet.

It'd sure help to know what you're cooking. If you're making some generic dish that just puts in a teaspoon of paprika for colour and heat, anything will work. If you're cooking something Hungarian, though, a substitute isn't a good idea.
posted by Nelson at 10:17 AM on August 16, 2005


Well, anyone cooking a hungarian dish and NOT using paprika needs to be beaten until they see the error of their ways.
posted by zerolives at 11:00 AM on August 16, 2005


Chili powder, as opposed to ground chili, usually has garlic powder, cumin, oregano and sometimes other spices. I don't sense that it makes a good substitute for either cayanne or paprika.

Black pepper strikes me as a similarly bad option. It might be "hot" but it a completely different way than cayanne.

I'm with O9scar, you'll probably need to bump up the amount of hot paprika to get as much kick as you'd get from cayanne, but given the small quantities like involved, its not likely to add a noticible amount of paprika flavor.
posted by Good Brain at 11:02 AM on August 16, 2005


That very much depends on what kind of paprika you're using. The hot paprika I get from Kalyustan's blows away any cayenne I've ever used.

Holy crap, I agree. So. Hot. Gotta love Kalustyan's and their crazy spices.
posted by moxyberry at 11:14 AM on August 16, 2005


Got any hot sauce?
posted by wsg at 11:26 AM on August 16, 2005


The hot one
posted by rxrfrx at 12:21 PM on August 16, 2005


I find that paprika has a fruity taste to it that cayenne pepper does not. In that regard, it probably is not a great subsitute. But if heat is all you're after, you might be able to get away with it. If I were you, I'd run out to the grocery store and pay $1 for a package of Mexican cayenne. Or you could even go somewhere like CVS or Duane Reade and get a bottle of the stuff for a buck. It's worth having in the house.
posted by NYCnosh at 12:42 PM on August 16, 2005


Pride of Szeged hot Hungarian paprika is much hotter than that red Schilling's powder, and more flavorful to boot. The flavor's not the same as cayenne, but heat-wise they're in the same ballpark.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:59 PM on August 16, 2005


Chili powder tastes nothing like cayenne to me. Chili powder is very flavorful, but generally is not very spicy, whereas cayenne is almost all fire and not a lot of flavor.

Gotta stick up for myself here. I'm a chili affficionado. Both chili powder and cayenne are generic names for blends. They are not made from separate, individual plants. Cayenne is made of ground, mixed chiles of dozen of different varieties which can vary wildly from mild to extremely hot. Cayenne varies brand by brand. Chile powder is made from chiles with other spices (salt, pepper, cumin, garlic, oregano) added. But the amount and number of other spices added varies, and many chile powders are made from pure ground chiles. Again, it varies brand by brand. Neither ingredient, referred to generically, ever has a reliable, steady amount of capsaicin. That's why all cooking that incorporates the hot spices has to involve tasting and adjusting for personal preference. I think you've got to use your judgement here. But I still feel safe in saying that most commercial chile powders will more closely match the heat and flavor profile of most commercial cayennes than will paprika.

There are two main types of paprika. The cheaper, more common type is very mild. Hungarian paprika is spicier, but because ground paprika is normally manufactured from a single plant variety, it's a less complex, one-note flavor. It's not likely to match the heat or the layered flavor of either a cayenne or chile powder. See below (from epicurious)

Like all capsicums, the paprika varieties are native to South America. Originally a tropical plant, it can now grow in cooler climates. In Europe Hungary and Spain are the two main centres for growing paprika peppers, though these varieties have evolved into much milder forms than their tropical ancestors. Hungarian paprika is known as stronger and richer than Spanish paprika, which is quite mild, though through controlled breeding they are becoming more alike. To maintain the stronger taste that consumers expect, some spice companies add cayenne to heat up Hungarian paprika.
posted by Miko at 1:12 PM on August 16, 2005


DAMN live preview. I forgot to italicize my first graf, which is a quote. I'm so used to having a second chance...
posted by Miko at 1:12 PM on August 16, 2005


Just to let you know, the hot paprika that I have at home is indeed from Kalyustan's. I'll give it a try, as a few people have commented that it is hot, hot, hot!!! Thanks for sharing your all your knowledge and advice! If it does not do the trick, I'll go out and get me some authentic cayenne pepper.
posted by Maishe at 5:44 PM on August 16, 2005


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