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Taste and Aroma: Sweet, peppery and a trace of nutmeg. Often mixed with other seeds or spices, this is used in the form of paste or powder for culinary use, especially in Latin American, Jamaican, Belizean, Chamorro, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisines. In Mexican and Belizean cuisines, it is used to make the spice recado rojo. In Venezuela, annatto is used in the preparation of hallacas, perico, and other traditional dishes. Pasteles and sazón in Puerto Rico also contain annatto. Annatto paste is an important ingredient of cochinita pibil, the spicy pork dish popular in Mexico. It is also a key ingredient in the drink tascalate from Chiapas, Mexico. In the Philippines it is used for the sauce of pancit.
Substitutes: Annatto Seeds, Hibiscus Powder, Paprika, Beet Powder, Turmeric or Nutmeg.
Fun Fact: Annatto has been used for a wide array of uses such as body paint, war paint and lipstick.