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Old 11-11-2017, 07:56 PM   #1
JJJ'sMom
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: North Carolina
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Start Date: Jan. 2013
Annatto seeds...grind your own, omg, great

I've used ground annatto for about 8 yrs now making my tandoori spice. Need to make the tandoori spice again and saw I would need more annatto powder, I make the spice mix in bulk. So before I ordered, I pulled out a unopened 28 oz of whole annatto seeds. Online says that a Cuisinart processor won't grind the seeds fine, too tough. Best bet is a spice/coffee grinder and then hard to do. Well.........my spice grinder does a excellent job.
Annatto is the coloring agent for cheddar and used in Mexican foods, it's the red color that you see. And stains terribly. Omg, the smell was tremendous, I have never smelled annatto powder w/ this much fragrance. So smelled what I had in my jar and nada........nothing, no smell at all. But this was purchased in 12/13 and kept in the bk of the fridge. Now I have smelled the annatto powder many times, light fragrance but have always tht it just added color for me and that's what I used it for. Have seen chefs talk about the flavor of ground annatto. Well these unopened seeds, expiring in 2014 (I bought them 1 yrs ago) have the most yummy smell, so strong and wonderful. I've had this smell fr annatto that I've bought but not anywhere close to this fresh. I type all this to say...............grind your own annatto powder, easily done in a spice grinder. And because it is somewhat messy, as in it stains quite easily, grind up plenty at one time and stash in fridge. When I bought this in 2013, I got 16oz for $20 and it was about 1 qt. The lg container of annatto seeds was $4 at a Mexican grocer. When smelling the seeds, you won't get a fragrance , they need to be ground. Use some annatto powder in oil to get a lovely orangey colored oil, used in Mexican fried rice. Annatto and achiote are interchangeable terms here w/ a lot of people but if the words are used correctly, achiote will refer to the paste made w/ ground annatto seed, garlic, oregano and vinegar. Achiote paste is the prime flavoring for El Pastor.
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Old 11-15-2017, 06:46 AM   #2
RexsreineSC
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Location: Aiken, SC
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Well, now I know why the pre-ground annatto preparations have never struck me as anything worthwhile! Will look for the seeds. Do have a spice grinder.

Thanks, JJJ'sMom. I love how we can learn so much about fine cooking on this site! It's wonderful!

Ginny in SC
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