Columbus brought smoked paprika from Central America to Spain, where it was beloved for its fire and punch. Both smoked and sweet paprika are made from the same family of thin, long red peppers, and both lend savory flavors, rather than real heat. Also called pimenton, smoked paprika gives chorizo its bright red color, and lends a woodsy note to meat or veggie dishes. A little goes a long way.
Peppery and prepared to play well with others, cumin was once so popular it was once carried in the pockets of wedding guests during the Middle Ages to bring good fortune. This pale version has a slightly more citrusy kick than its roasted cousins, and it goes well with fresh chilli pepper and mild vegetables.