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Capsicum peppers were brought to Europe by Christopher Columbus, and the Spanish were the first to mill this new vegetable into a powdered spice. Today, pimentón (paprika) remains one of the Spanish kitchen's defining ingredients.
Not far from the site on which Columbus introduced the capsicum plant to Spain lays the Extremadura region. Bordering Portugal, this mountainous region is the lesser known cousin of the tourist popular neighboring region of Andalucía.
However, the claim to fame for many from Extremadura is their world renowned smoked paprika. In 1993, smoked paprika from La Vera, in Extremadura, became the worlds first pepper spice with denomination of origin status. It is totally distinct from other paprikas.
This distinctively flavoursome spice has become a hugely integral part of Spanish culinary tradition.
Of all the producers in the region, La Chinata are considered to produce the finest paprika. This is due mainly to classic artisan qualities such as attention to detail and patience.
The peppers are oak-smoked up to two weeks before being the milling process begins, when they will be ground for 9 hours between stone cut wheels until they reach the super fine texture that we know so well. It is the limited heat, never rising above 50°C, produced by the friction between the stones which allows the full flowering of the aromas and flavours locked in the peppers’ oils.
There are three varieties of La Chinata smoked paprika, Dulce (sweet), Agridulce (bittersweet) and Picante (spicy). Each variety is made from a different variety of pepper, unique in taste. We recommend starting with Dulce and working your way through the range. Although if you’ve got a spicy palette, jump right in and try the picante!
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