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Meet the ingredients - Achiote!

On the lunch and pre-theatre menus this week you'll find..

ACHIOTE PORK BONBONS WITH A ROSEMARY CANELLINI BEAN VELOUTE AND WEAVE CHIPS

So what on earth is ACHIOTE?

Annatto (/əˈnætoʊ/ or /əˈnɑːtoʊ/) is an orange-red condiment and food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana) native to tropical regions from Mexico to Brazil. It is often used to impart a yellow or orange color to foods, but sometimes also for its flavor and aroma. Its scent is described as "slightly peppery with a hint of nutmeg" and flavour as "slightly nutty, sweet and peppery".

The color of annatto comes from various carotenoid pigments, mainly bixin and norbixin, found in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds. The condiment is typically prepared by grinding the seeds to a powder or paste. Similar effects can be obtained by extracting some of the colour and flavour principles from the seeds with hot water, oil, or lard, which are then added to the food.

Annatto and its extracts are now widely used in an artisanal or industrial scale as a coloring agent in many processed food products, such as cheeses, dairy spreads, butter and margarine, custards, cakes and other baked goods, potatoes, snack foods, breakfast cereals, smoked fish, sausages, and more. In these uses, annatto is a natural alternative to synthetic food colouring compounds. Annatto is of particular commercial value in the United States because the Food and Drug Administration considers colorants derived from it to be "exempt of certification".

So pop along the Contrast Brasserie soon to try our annatto marinated pork, and give your taste buds a treat.

[Source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Annatto]

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