Yes, we know that Achiote is native to the tropical areas of the Americas, including the Caribbean and Mexico. Specifically, this product originated from Ecuador. The Spanish brought the small tree from the Americas to Southeast Asia in the 1600s, where it is now a common food ingredient. It’s also produced in India and West Africa. Achiote is a spice and coloring agent extracted from the seeds of the evergreen Bixa orellana shrub. After macerating in water, the pulp surrounding the seeds is made into cakes for further processing into dyes. The seeds are dried and used whole or ground as a culinary spice. Achiote is used to add yellow color to many dishes in Asia.
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