Christopher Columbus presented the Spanish monarchs Ferdinand and Isabel with spicy Capsicum peppers on his return from the New World. They were entrusted to the monastery of Yuste in the La Vera region of Extremadura, who pioneered the smoking and milling process of La Vera Pimenton. This unique paprika has Protected Domination of Origin status; it can only be made in La Vera using peppers from the region, dried over smouldering wild oak and gently ground in stone mills to ensure its distinct smoky warmth, colour and flavour.
Sanmel has been owned and operated by the Sanchez Rodriguez family for four generations. The founding great-grandfather established his mill in the mountains where the peppers were harvested and ground. Today, the mission of Sanmel is to support local farmers while doing their part for the environment: Peppers are purchased from small, local farmers and the wood used for drying the peppers is obtained from forest cuttings – a traditional method of managing the local forests to prevent forest fires. The dried peppers are ground using traditional stone mills and the final product is 100% natural pure milled pepper.