If there’s an ingredient that sums up many of the flavours that come out of the Yucatán, it has to be this.
It’s something I’ve been buying from my local Fiji Market for several years now, but now that they sell annatto seeds, the time came to make the paste myself.
Annatto is the main ingredient in this vibrant spice paste, giving it the rich red-orange colour and earthy flavour.
Ever wondered where the colour of American cheddar comes from? This small seed from the achiote tree. Not that all cheddars use annatto, mind you.
To make my paste, I simply looked at the ingredients list on the one that I used to buy, looked at more online, and then made one myself. And you know what? It tastes just like the one from the packet, just with a little more punch.
So what do you do with it?
Well, it’s a perfect spice paste to use as a dry rub, dissolved and used in a marinade for meats and seafood or thrown into sauces and bean stews.
It’s pretty versatile, really.
Recipes where I’ve used the paste