Spoon of ground red spice on top of canvas fabric
Cayenne Pepper Vs. Hot Paprika: What's The Distinction?
Some spices seem almost identical to one another, with similar flavors and uses, but cayenne and hot paprika are two seasonings that are more different than you think.
Cayenne and paprika are made with types of spicy peppers that fall under the species Capsicum annum. Even paprika labeled as "hot" is usually milder than strong, spicy cayenne.
Cayenne comes from the cayenne pepper, which ranges from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville units on the heat scale. Paprika is made with peppers rarely above 1,000 Scoville units.
Paprika has a nuanced flavor ranging from slightly sweet to smoky to mildly spicy, depending on the variety. Cayenne is more straightforwardly hot with a slightly fruity taste.
Since both spices come from Capsicum annum, they’re rich in the antioxidant capsaicin and vitamin C, but thanks to its heat, cayenne has much higher capsaicin levels.
Don't use cayenne in place of paprika, as its spice can overpower recipes that call for paprika. You can use hot paprika to replace cayenne, but the dish will taste different.