PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Circa 1795 illustration from Bertuch's "Bilderbuch fur Kinder" series. Achiote (Bixa orellana) is a small tree originating from the tropical Americas. North, Central and South American natives use the waxy arils of the seeds to make red body paint.The ground seeds are widely used in traditional dishes in South and Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico; such as cochinita pibil, chicken in achiote and caldo de olla. Its extracts are also used as an industrial food coloring to add yellow or orange color to many products such as butter, cheese, sausages, cakes, and popcorn.
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