Friday, March 05, 2010


At first, I just bought packets of whatever was cheapest, but then discovered especially as the years went by that quality really has begun to vary a great deal with paprika. In my project to replenish my spice cabinet, one goal is to find the best quality paprika I can on my budget, a few different heat levels. With my budget that means I won't be able to go to Hungary, to a place like Szeged, where in the autumn they harvest the highly valued peppers that became famous the world over for making the best paprika in the world. The peppers are strung to dry and a whole spectrum of paprika strengths are produced, ranging from very mild to hot hot hot. One of these days I'll go there. It's on my list of things to do. In the meantime, I can dream. Most of the Hungarian tourist sites have articles on paprika, complete with photos of the famous peppers strung to dry. Wouldn't it be lovely to go there with a guide at harvest time?

My source in Lyon this time is Cap Epices, near Ampere Victor Hugo in Lyon's 2eme arrondissement. I like that I can buy very small amounts, and I like that they have a steady stream of clients plus they do the markets on weekends - that makes it so that their inventory is always on the move. I like that I can get small amounts of 9 different spices plus a little can of pickled green peppercorns and it costs me less than €10.

Cap Epices
39 rue Charité
69002 LYON

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Blogger rockinloubylou said...

Hi Lucy. Love your blog. I just want to let you know that for the second time I have referenced on my blog what you have done on yours. Big fan!

8:53 PM, March 05, 2010  
Blogger Denise | Chez Danisse said...

It seems Cap Epices is the perfect spot! Small quantities, quick turnover of product--excellent find! I just need to move to Lyon now...

11:51 PM, March 05, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried Pimenton de la Vera from Spain? It is up there with Hungarian Paprika in terms of quality and the smoking the peppers undergo adds something else. I know it might sound like heresy but I now use it for goulash. La Dalia in small tins is a good brand and it is available dulce or piccante.

1:29 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger katiez said...

When I lived in the Vendee there was a Piment Bleu (I believe it's a small chain store) that sold bulk spices and grains. I haven't found anything similar anywhere around here. I sure there is in Bordeaux, but that 90 minutes aways.
As to the paprika, I like to have the Spanish, smoked paprika on hand, too. You have to be careful of the brands, though, not all of it is smoked.
I love replenishing my kitchen...

10:51 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger katiez said...

Just checked - if you are in interested, El Avion and Vega Caceres are both smoked Spanish Paprikas - with the latter having the better flavor.

10:57 AM, March 06, 2010  
Blogger Tim Vidra said...

Hungarian Paprika and Szeged are both amazing. Being Hungarian I struggle with the "Smoked Paprika" from Spain but do not get me wrong I love it! I hope that one day you make it to Hungary and get to experience this amazing spice!

4:20 AM, March 08, 2010  
Blogger L Vanel said...

I have seen the Spanish mild pepper but never noted the provenance. I will look into it! I certainly hope to get to Hungary too.

9:55 AM, March 08, 2010  
Anonymous Eszter said...

If you do get to Hungary, please, do let me know and I promise to get my mum to give you some real home made country paprika..with my compliments! Tourist stuff is not even half as good as what country folks make at home! If I was there I'd just mail you some, but I live in L.A. I love your blog and come visit time to time, I used to live in Lyon and it warms my heart to read your stories and see your pictures..

12:52 AM, March 15, 2010  

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