Known as achiote in Spanish, ANNATTO seeds are native to America & the Caribbean but can be found in Vietnamese & Filipino cuisines as well.
Annatto is often used as a colourant, as it will turn food red. Steep the seeds in hot water, or fry them in oil to extract the colour. Annatto has an earthy, slightly nutty flavour, and is one of the key ingredients in achiote paste. The plant is sometimes called the 'lipstick tree' as it is used as body and lip paint! It is often used as a food colorant, especially for cheeses like Cheddar, Gloucester, and Red Leicester.