While I was reading in my books about spices and herbs, I finally go to know about this exotic flavoring and food-coloring ingredient. I wanted to know more about it and ordered it immediately. After various research and experiments with these mysterious seeds, you now have the chance to read our little report. Have fun while reading.
Fountain of annatto:
Annatto never heard? No problem! Annatto, or Achote, Orlean, Ruku, Anatto, Roucou, or achiote are seeds of the small, evergreen Orlean-tree, whose home is in the Caribbean or tropical South America. Even the Maya knew how to use the bright red seeds as a spice and coloring agent, so they used them among other things as war paint. In European cuisine the seeds are rarely found as a spice, yet even more as a colorant. They are used for coloring cheeses like Gouda, Fol Epi, or Cheddar. However in different regional cuisines from Mexico to Vietnam it’s pleasing aroma is still used today.
Flavour of annatto:
When I opened the annatto-box for the first time, a peppermint and flowers reminiscent steamed, accompanied by light earthy tones hit my nose. Inspired by the fresh aroma I threw myself directly 2-3 seeds into my mouth, almost crushing my teeth on them. So be aware; some seeds can be damn hard! But now back to the flavour. The aroma is dominated by fresh pine-like scents which arise by the substances α– and β-PINEN . The aroma Ishwarane ensures peppery, floral flavour and the earthy notes are caused by α-caryophyllene. The best way to dissolve this flavour is by fat or alcohol. The color dissolves by water as well. The yellow-red color is caused by the substances norbixin and cis-bixin. The flavour dissolve best at temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Celsius, the color on the other hand best at temperatures over 100 degrees Celsius.
Function of annatto:
As I said you can use annatto for seasoning, and for coloring. To use annatto in cocktails, it is best to infuse a spirit with the seeds because here you get a nice flavour and a beautiful color. If you want to have only the color, you can cook an annatto-tea. For the infusion of a spirit take about 1 teaspoon per 100 ml liquid and then macerate it at 65 ° C for one hour in sousvide, or let them go for a week at room temperature in the Jar. The seeds combine well with other herbs and spices, such as allspice, coriander and oregano and are regarded as ideal companion for pumpkin and sweet potato.
Formula of annatto:
Inspired by Tony C’s Noshino: A drink based on shochu and sake. Just like Tony C, we use a shochu based on sweetpotatoes for our drinks. The seasoning annatto suggests itself. Cheers!
50ml annatto infused shochu *
The ingredients are placed in a mixing glass together and stirred about 30 times on ice cubes . Then the whole drink is strained into a chilled glass.
* For the annatto Shochu 1 teaspoon annatto seeds / 100ml Shochu are vacuumed in a vacuum bag and then infused at 65 ° C for 1 hour in sousvide.