La Bixa Orellana is the scientific name given to a very popular seasoning in our kitchen and we know it popularly as achiote.
The achiote originates from the seed of a tree that reaches heights of 3 to 5 mts. Tall. Its cup is abundant from its base and can reach up to 10 mts. in diameter, it has clusters of white flowers of about 5 cm. that when dried they expose their seed.
This tree has its origins in the tropical regions of Brazil.
The seeds ripen from October to January and others from November to March.
Annatto seeds can be stored at room temperature for up to 12 months in clay vases, covering them with a blanket to allow air to pass through. If the heat is very strong they can be stored in the refrigerator.
The achiote comes from grinding the seeds and combining other ingredients to obtain a message widely used in a variety of dishes of Mexican cuisine such as tacos al pastor.
Its most important presence is in the great variety of dishes of the Yucatecan cuisine.
The red color of the achiote is due to the presence of two pigments that are the carotenoids bixin and norbixin.
Various ingredients are used for the production of achiote pasta, such as: annatto seeds, habanero peppers, sour orange, lemon, cloves, coriander and cumin seeds, pepper, nutmeg, oregano, white vinegar, salt.
When mixing these ingredients a paste of compact consistency should be obtained.
The achiote also provides an important source of vitamin A, strengthens our immune system, in addition to producing bixin (a substance used as a dye in the food and beverage industry), helps rejuvenate the skin, have a healthy digestion, strengthens the bones , and accelerates healing. It is also used within the cosmetic and textile industry.
Well it's time to take an omelet, give it a spread of strained beans, put the cochinita pibil, sliced purple onion and habanera sauce to taste, and eat that delicious taco.