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annetto seeds

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esseppess Jun 4, 2012 03:04 AM

what are annetto seeds & is there an everyday substitute?

  1. Delucacheesemonger Jun 4, 2012 03:49 AM

    Seeds of a tropical plant called achiote. When put in oil add a pigment of orange that is seen most often in 'american' cheese denoted orange. Has very subtle flavors but is mostly a food dye, natural and considered very safe.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger
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      esseppess Jun 4, 2012 05:13 AM

      Thanx Delucacheesemonger.So if colour not an issue,no need 2 substitute?

      1. re: esseppess
        paulj Jun 4, 2012 09:52 AM

        What cuisine or recipe are you working from?

        There are some southern Mexican (Yucatan) dishes where achiote is used in large enough quantity to affect taste. But people usually buy it in a flavored paste form, since the whole seeds are hard and difficult to grind.

        Elsewhere in Latin America it is used mostly for color, sort of a poor man's saffron.

        1. re: paulj
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          esseppess Jun 4, 2012 03:40 PM

          Thanx 4 the info

          1. re: paulj
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            Rella Jun 15, 2012 06:00 AM

            Maybe not the thread to ask/comment, but Port Salut cheese has two layers of orange, one on the outside lookslike a plastic wrapping of sorts, but the inside seems to be an intregal part of the cheese which is very difficult to scrape off. Achiote?

            1. re: Rella
              paulj Jun 15, 2012 09:42 AM

              Achiote (annato) is used to color cheeses like cheddar. I doubt it is used directly as a coating, but it might color the wax that commonly coats cheese.

              1. re: paulj
                r
                Rella Jun 15, 2012 11:45 AM

                From Wikipedia
                "The cheese is now produced in a factory; the characteristic smooth crust the result of a plastic-coated wrapper. The crust is edible, but is made of wax and detracts from the flavour of the cheese.

                Handmade Port Salut cheese or "Entrammes" cheese is still produced by various monasteries throughout the French countryside, and differs subtly from its commercial cousin."

                No doubt the coloring on the inside is the backside of the waxed outside.

                It is one of my "all-time favorite cheese," so it is distressing to me to that I have to scrape off the inside of the wax, too, which has sunk in/become an integral part of the cheese itself.

      2. drongo Jun 4, 2012 05:14 AM

        Cook's Thesaurus has some suggested substitutes: http://www.foodsubs.com/SpiceHisp.html

        3 Replies
        1. re: drongo
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          esseppess Jun 4, 2012 05:29 AM

          Thanx 4 turning me on 2 Cook's Thesaurus Drongo.(BTW,r u frm the land of Vegemite & meat pies?)

          1. re: esseppess
            drongo Jun 4, 2012 01:19 PM

            Nope... originally from another Southern hemisphere country that also has drongoes (of the feathered if not the human variety) and where Marmite is the spread of choice.

            1. re: drongo
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              esseppess Jun 4, 2012 03:38 PM

              And I thought there were only human drongos,native 2 the land of Oz.That's 2 things I learned frm u 2day,thanx again.

        2. JungMann Jun 4, 2012 09:59 AM

          Annatto is usually used for coloring, although there are a few recipes in regional Mexican and Filipino food that rely on the seeds for a grassy, earthy flavor. If you are just making something like yellow rice, I don't think you need to be too concerned with substituting, but if you are making cochinita pibil, that's a different story.

          1 Reply
          1. re: JungMann
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            esseppess Jun 4, 2012 04:33 PM

            Thank you

          2. arktos Jun 15, 2012 12:47 PM

            Although not an "everyday substitute", Dende Oil (palm oil) would make an excellent substitution if you want flavor and coloring.

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