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Annatto or bixa is a seed from the annatto tree, indigenous to the Caribbean and Central America. It’s a spice we commonly use to color rice, meat dishes and sometimes even butter and does give a peppery taste. You will also find this spice used in the very popular branded Sazón seasoning packets by Goya. I sometimes use it as a substitute for saffron to make yellow rice. I seldom use it for my meats. In Latin countries the word is bijol or even achiote, though that has different properties I’ll address later. You can buy it in whole seeds and get the desired color by infusing in warm water or buy it in lose powder. Try it!

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11 thoughts on “Annatto

  1. I’d used it once for a mole sauce, but it has since lingered in my pantry, long forgotten until now. I should make an effort to get it into active use again…

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