Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Annatto seeds

Silk fabric in annatto seed dye bath

The dye extracted from anatto seeds is a common colorant in commercial food products.  Latin American and Caribbean cuisines use annatto as both coloring and flavoring agent. In some places people call it 'lipstick tree'. It grows in several parts of Asia, and tropical or sub tropical regions of the world. When I saw jars of annatto seeds in Chinatown, I couldn't resist purchasing them to dye. The bright hues varied from yellow to dark orange.