Sunday, September 7, 2008

Annatto... Flower, seeds and a food coloring

Anatto or achiotte, (bixa orellana L.) is a plant is grown mostly in South America and Brazil is the main producer and exporter. Known here as urucum or colorau the seeds are used as a natural red food coloring in the food industry, comestics (lipsticks) and also in the Brazilian cuisine. The color result is similar to paprika, although it does not alter the flavor of the food. Also, Brazilian indians and other Latin-American indians use the seeds to make body paint.

The most common way to make annatto powder is to heat the seeds in oil, then transfer the seeds to a mortar, add fine cornmeal and grind them with the pestle. Pour through a fine mesh to separate seed skins from powder and you are ready to go.

Anatto Flower on Foodista

8 comments:

Susan from Food Blogga said...

That is a strikingly vivid color. Thanks for teaching me something new.

Priti said...

Wow this looks so nice...lovely colour and texture

Elle said...

I just made oil from annatto seeds for the first time this weekend! Such a gorgeous color!

Elle said...

Cris, thank you so much for the card! It's beautiful!

Paz said...

How very interesting! I've bought the seeds for cooking but I've never seen the flower. It's beautiful.

Paz

Shreya said...

Hi Cris, so long since I visited your blog. Was away from blogging for a whole month, and i am back now. Loved the info on annatto. I have never heard of it before, and am glad to know about it now. I love the ginger ribs, and red rice recipe. The GYO entry is great too. Hope to catch up online sometime soon. Take care, Shreya

Kelli said...

Such vibrant colors, Cris! I hope you and your family are doing well!
~Kelli

Sandra said...

That is so pretty....lindo lindo.

Beijocas Cris :)