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Annatto Seed (also known also as bijol achiote or roucou), is a spice imported from South America and is used to color sauces, rice, cheeses and sea foods. When heated in oil it produces a bright yellow color, when simply ground it remains a pleasing, natural red.
The bright yellow coloring can be obtained by cooking 1/4 cup Annatto Seed with 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil. Simmer for 10 – 15 minutes and then strain out the seeds and store the oil in the refrigerator for up to three months.
UsageAnnatto Seed is a flavorful spice paired with chicken and fish as well as a natural coloring agent. Make into a paste or oil by adding 4 oz of Annatto Seed with 2 cups of grape seed oil, heat for 5 to 10 minutes, and strain. Annatto Seed is also sometimes used as an antiseptic to treat minor burns, blisters and cold sores.
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