Paprika is ground red pepper pods. It can be sweet or sharp, mild or hot. The best varieties come from Hungary, Spain, and California. It does, though, get stale quickly—think of the tasteless red powder found in too many kitchen spice racks. Unless you use it by the cupful, keep yours in a tightly sealed container in the freezer. If you don’t have a good local source for paprika, check Penzeys Spices.