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Annatto or Achiote in Spanish
Annatto seeds are often ground for cooking or processed to use as a "culinary dye." The thin coating of the seed is removed to produce a basic pigment known as "bixin." This is what gives color to butter and cheese as well as salad dressings, fish products and confections.
Annatto is a shrub native to the Caribbean, South and Central Americas.
It has been called "poor man's saffron" for the color is similar to the more prized seasoning. The ground seeds are often found in sauces, stews and rice dishes.
Look for seeds to grind yourself or make the flavored oil. Ground seeds are available, too. Use the powder for enhancing sauces, chicken dishes and Mexican recipes.