Annatto is a rich orange dye derived from the crushed seeds of the Achiote or Achiotl tree (Bixa Orellana) native to tropical Mexico, Central America, and South America. Traditionally used as decorative body paint, and as a sunscreen and insect repellent, annatto was also employed in Mexico until the 16th Century in manuscript painting.

Annatto has a mildly earthy flavour and is used in many Latin American and South Asian dishes. It is also the dye used to give Red Leicester cheese its characteristic colour.


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