The Special Source Behind Trader Joe's Paprika

For some, Trader Joe's is more than a grocery store. It's known for its affordable prices, product names with cheeky puns, and its whimsical nautical-decor theme that has staff members calling each other "captain" and "mate" while wearing Hawaiian shirts. A love of Trader Joe's can equate to a lifestyle, and there is even an Instagram account with more than half a million followers, Trader Joes Obsessed, that's dedicated to reviewing its products and sharing Trader Joe's-centered recipes.

While Trader Joe's is a distinctively American brand, what some people may not know is that its buyers source products from all around the globe. Those products must undergo an intense tasting panel and quality-control process before making it to the store shelves (per Trader Joe's). In fact, the reason why the majority of Americans choose the store is because of the unique Trader Joe's products and where they come from, according to The Loupe. Even the paprika sold there has a special origin story.

Trader Joe's paprika is sourced from a family-run company based in Valencia

In a podcast episode from Trader Joe's, an employee named Lori explains stumbling upon Trader Joe's paprika source by chance at a food show in France. There, Lori spotted "cute" tin packaging and then began talking to the producers: four Spanish sisters who are based near Valencia on Spain's southeastern coast. She described the paprika as "incredible." The spice presumably passed the rigors of the taste panel and quality control before landing on Trader Joe's shelves. Spain is the second-biggest exporter of paprika, a colorful red spice with its origins in the Americas (via Tridge).

According to the Trader Joe's website, its supplier has been working with paprika for nearly 70 years, using Spanish peppers that are roasted over wooden planks and then ground into the resulting beloved smoked paprika spice. The next time you light up the grill or just want to infuse some smoky Spanish flavor, you'll know what to reach for on a Trader Joe's trip.