ingredient information
Annatto
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A derivative of ACHIOTE SEED, commercial annatto paste and powder is used to color butter, margarine, cheese and smoked fish. Annatto are native to South America, and are currently mostly in use as a flavouring and food colouring in Central and Northern South America. In the Caribbean, the seeds are usually fried in (animal or vegetable) fat; after discarding the seeds, the then golden-yellow fat is used to fry vegetables or meat. By this procedure, a golden yellow to golden brown colour is achieved. Mexican cooks often use a paste (achiote) of annatto seeds with some preservatices (acetic acid) that dissolves completely in hot fat; it is easy to use and can also be added to marinades and sauces to improve the colour. Similar use is found in South America, namely, Perú and Bolivia.