There could only be one destination: Extremadura. This is the Spanish region where pimentón was first made, following Christopher Columbus’s return from one of his first visits to the American continent. With him, he brought heretofore unknown products like peppers, which the Hieronymus monks of the Monastery of Yuste dried and ground to make pimentón, Spain’s spice par excellence along with saffron.
From Spain this spice made its way to Europe, and then to the rest of the world where it was known as “paprika.” But we strongly advocate the use of the Spanish word “pimentón” — as demanded so many times by chef José Andrés — which pays homage to the product and the country where it originated.
Extremadura is also the native land of José Pizarro, one of the most successful Spanish chefs in London. He has been there for more than twenty-five years, during which time his skill at the helm of various establishments has earned him the respect and admiration of the British public, the press and food critics alike.
The team from Foods & Wines from Spain offered him the opportunity to travel with us to the area known as la Vera in Extremadura, the cradle of pimentón de la Vera, to film this project talking about the origins of this 100% Spanish product, the secrets to how it is made, and his favorite recipes using pimentón de la Vera. There is nothing this chef likes more than traveling to his region and showing international audiences the excellent quality of foods from Spain. Won’t you join us on this delectable journey into the sensory world of pimentón?
Recipe: Fresh Goat Cheese with Pimentón