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Annatto (Bixa orellana)

Annatto (Bixa orellana): An American/West Indian tree with red seeds that are crushed and used for colouring foods; in Britain it is most commonly found in cheese. It has a slightly peppery taste and can be used to flavour (and colour) oils, or in casseroles.

In Mexico, the seeds are often called 'achiote seeds' and are made into a paste (or bought as little 'bricks' with the texture of beef stock cubes). They are then a popular flavouring/colouring and added to meat and fish dishes. Achiote paste is available from Latin American specialist shops. It sometimes goes under the names of Achiote, Annotta or Arnotta.

If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at ‘Simon Scrutton Cookery Classes’ on Google – and learn how to make top class bistro-style dishes. Suitable for beginners upwards.

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Annatto Seeds
Annatto Seeds