Pimentón de la Vera - Spanish paprika

I found an excellent lamb stew recipe in the New York Times that I wanted to make. However, it calls for pimentón de la vera - a Spanish paprika that is smoky and (in some varieties) spicy. Unfortunately, Wegman’s did not carry it. Is it carried by any major supermarkets? It really doesn’t have a comparable substitute, but what could I use in place of it in the stew? I was thinking a combo of paprika and chili powder.

A good number of supermarkets in my area seem to be up on the surging popularity of Spanish paprika, so I’m really surprised a place like Wegman’s doesn’t have it. All the Spanish paprika I’ve ever had has been smoky, so I don’t know if there’s anything particularly crucial about it being “pimenton de la vera.” In a pinch, I even think McCormick’s Smoked Paprika would work fine. (I’m not a fan of McCormick’s. Overpriced and of variable quality.)

Otherwise, I’d check Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, those sorts of places. If you have a Penzey’s or Spice House in your area, they’ll definitely stock it. Or you can order online from those stores.

Yes, Penzeys carries it as “Smoked Spanish Paprika”. The pimentón de la vera you find in specialty stores may have been sitting around for a while and so might not be as fresh. I love smoked paprika. “de la vera” is a geographic designation for paprika from La Vera in Spain. Kinda like Champagne, or Parmesan Reggiano.

Thanks for the tip. I don’t think I saw “smoked Spanish paprika” either. And as a college student without a car, I doubt I’ll find a place that stocks it, but I think this is one thing I can live without.

Just look for “Spanish paprika.” Smoked is not always in the name. Wegman’s online has a listing for McCormick’s Smoked Paprika, so have a look there. Otherwise, if you can find powdered chipotles, I would guess maybe a 1:3 ratio of chipotle powder to sweet paprika might do the job, too.

Excellent suggestion. For those who don’t know, chipotle is the smoky, dried red jalapeño chili.

Wegmans didn’t have something? Impossible!

But, seriously–if you’re in the Buffalo area, the local Penzey’s just opened on Elmwood Avenue, and it does have the Smoked Spanish Paprika on sale. Some of it is chilling in our pantry right now. It’s pretty close to the imported smoked pimenton I got at Jungle Jim’s some time ago.

La Tienda is another online spice house that carries it. It comes in hot, sweet and bitter.