Discover the many uses of roucou in cooking and cosmetics

By Hervé , on July 27, 2021 , updated on April 21, 2023 - 5 minutes to read
Bixa orellana (Bixa orellana)

Where can I find roucou seeds?

The urucum (or roucou/rocouyer), is a shrub native to the tropical regions of America that can be found in Brazil, Bolivia or Nicaragua.

How do you use the evaporated seeds?

They can be used to make "fonds de plats": lightly heat the seeds in a dry pan to brown them and release all the flavours, then cook the dish of your choice without removing the seed mixture.

Where to find Achiote?

You can find them in spicy Chinese grocery stores, but if you want to make a variation of achiote paste, simply mix 1 1/2 teaspoons of paprika, 1 ml of ground cumin, 4 ml of dried oregano, a teaspoon of white vinegar, and a clove of chopped garlic.

What is annatto tincture?

This term may not mean anything to you, but it is a very popular food coloring. In fact, this natural red-orange coloring is found almost everywhere: in jams, confections, sauces, delicatessen products⌠but also in our favorite cheese specialties.

Why is Gouda cheese orange?

Their colour is obtained naturally from the annatto, the fruit of a tropical American shrub whose seeds offer a range of shades from yellow to red.

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Why is mimolette orange?

Its colour comes simply from the addition of a colouring agent: annatto. Annatto is a natural colouring agent that contains carotene (eating mimolette is therefore good for your complexion!).

How to grow the roucou ?

Ideal soil and exposure for the roucou The roucou is grown in the tropical garden in full sun, in a rich, humusy and well-drained soil. Elsewhere, it should be planted in a container and overwintered under cover in bright light.

How to use the oil of roucou?

Instructions for use Apply red mulberry oil directly to the skin, which it will moisturize and strengthen, before and after sun exposure. In addition to its protective and repairing properties, it helps to keep a tanned complexion longer.

How to use the roucou leaves?

In Puerto Rico, "massa" (pap) is used for burns. If applied in time, it prevents cloaca. Some people take a decoction of the leaves to relieve throat inflammation and mild tonsillitis, and a urucum leaf applied to the forehead relieves headaches.

What does it taste like?

In large quantities, they have a slightly peppery flavor, without being too pungent, with a hint of nutmeg, first mild, then slightly pungent. You can read everywhere that it tastes earthy and is not used for its flavor, I disagree with that at all!

If you're a cheese lover, you may have already noticed that some cheeses have a very distinctive orange color. This is particularly true of the famous Gouda or Mimolette. Well, this color actually comes from the roucou plant! In fact, this plant is often used as a natural colorant in the food industry, particularly for dairy products. But that's not its only use...

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