- achiote seed
- annotto seed
- achote seed
- achuete seed
- atsuete seed
About Annatto seed
Wikipedia Article About Annatto seed on Wikipedia
A rust colored seed that is harvested from the annatto shrub to produce the Achiote spice. Native to Latin America, Spain, and East India, the Achiote seed is protected by a pod containing 40 to 60 red seeds. The triangular-shaped Achiote seeds are surrounded by a red pulp that is separated from the seeds and pod when they are harvested. The pulp is processed to produce a commercial dying agent while the seeds are dried and made into a rust colored paste that is often used for coloring foods such as rice, smoked fish, butter, or cheese. Cheshire, Edam, Leicester, and Muenster cheeses are commonly colored with the rusty-toned paste to enhance the appearance of the cheese. Also used as a spice for flavoring foods, Annatto seeds provide a sweet and somewhat peppery taste when added to various food dishes.
In Hinduism and Buddhism, the Sanskrit term bīja (Jp. 種子 shushi), literally seed, is used as a metaphor for the origin or cause of things.
The metaphor is considerably extended in the Consciousness-only teachings of the Yogacara school of Buddhism. According to this theory, all experiences and actions produce bija as impressions, stored in the alaya (storehouse) consciousness. The external world is produced when the seeds "perfume" this consciousness. This view of bija has been equated to memes, with the theory itself positing an extreme form of memetics (ie. reality and existence consist purely of memes).
In Esoteric Buddhism and Hinduism, the term bija is used for mystical "seed syllables" contained with mantras. These seeds do not have precise meanings, but are thought to carry connections to spiritual principles. The best-known bija syllable is Om, which first is seen in the Hindu scriptures known as the Upanishads.