About Annatto Seeds, Whole
Annatto Seed, Bixa Orellana, is the seed from a flowering tree of the Bixaceae family. This tree is also known as a lipstick tree, as much of the red color found in lipstick is derived from the dye found in the pulp which surrounds the Annatto Seeds. As a Spice Annatto is used most often in the Caribbean and Central America. Besides coloring foods Annatto also imparts a mild flavor. Annatto Seed is also an ingredient in Achiote Paste. Annatto Seeds are small triangular shaped, about 1/2 cm wide, and velvet red with a soft texture.
Annatto works with beans, grains, rices and light meats such as chicken, fish and turkey. It's often used in preparation of vegetables such as okra, plantains, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin and peppers.
Country of Origin: Peru
Annatto seed oil is a common ingredient in Caribbean cuisine. Heat 1 cup of grape seed oil, add 2 ounces of Annatto Seeds and cook for up to 5 minutes (until the oil turns orange). Strain the seeds out and refrigerate.
Also often spelled Annato, Anatto.