The Annatto tree is often referred to as the Lipstick Tree as it is used to color many cosmetics including lipstick. Native to the rain forests of the Yucatan and Belize, the spice is known throughout Central America by its Nahuatl name, Axiote. Blended with other spices and herbs, and ground into a paste, axiote is a mainstay of Yucatecan cuisine, and is used to season primarily chicken, but is also used on fish, lobster, and pork (achiote paste is marketed throughout Central America as “recado rojo”). In India, Hindu women use it to make the mark on their foreheads.

With a distinctive mildly bitter, earthy flavor, the annatto seed is most commonly used in Western culture as a food coloring for cheese, margarine, butter, rice, and smoked fish. We use it as a primary ingredient for our Belizean-inspired Axiote rub for chicken and fish.


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Axiote Blend

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Highlighting the flavor of the Annatto Seed with Guajillo and Chipotle Chiles, this authentic blend brings the flavors of the Maya rain forests to your table.

Rub with lime on fish, chicken, beef or sweet potatoes. Marinate with paste: 2-3T Axiote & 2T cider vinegar (or sour orange, Meyer lemon juice, lime juice, or California Balsamic Sweet Heat vinegar), and an optional splash of olive oil.


Hand blended in small batches: tomato, axiote seed, garlic, pepper, Chiles, sea salt, coriander, cumin, allspice, and oregano.

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