WHAT IS IT?
Annatto (Achiote) (/əˈnætoʊ/ or /əˈnɑːtoʊ/) is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana).
Annatto is used most often for its pigments that make foods orange to red in color. The flavor, a bit bitter and clay-like is negligible, which is why it is so often used as a colorant.
Native to the eastern Mediterranean regions, Brazil and Southwest Asia, it is grown and prized throughout Latin America, the Caribbean and the Philippines
- Cheeses such as Mimolette, Red Leicester, and Cheddar use annatto to achieve an orange or red color .
- Annatto oil is commonly used in dishes like Arroz con Pollo that orange-yellow color;.
- It’s the red in the Cuban beef dish Ropa Vieja.
A FEW IMPROVISATIONAL RIFFS:
- Grind with herbs and other spices and cook in the base oil of a poppin’ paella!
- Dress up a traditional mushroom risotto with
Believed to originate from Brazil, it was probably not initially used as a food additive, but for other purposes such as ritual and decorative body painting, sunscreen, and insect repellent. It was also used as a substitute for more expensive cochineal dyes in sacred art for Mexican manuscript painting in the 16th century.
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