Paprika powder is produced by grinding the dried, deep red paprika pods of the pepper plant (Capsicum annum L. is the botanical name).
Although paprika is the symbol of Hungary’s cuisine, the plant was brought to the country by the Turks only in the 16-17th centuries.
Its pungency ranges from sweet to mildly hot and very hot, depending of the type of pepper the powder was produced.
The colour of the spices varies from mild to bright red and there are paprika powder types with brownish colour too. Note that not the brightest red paprika is the hottest! The orange coloured one will make you really cry.
The hotness is caused by capsaicin, a chemical that is extracted from paprika plants to use in pharmaceutical production due to its pan killer effect.