What’s for lunch? Fish filets wrapped in a banana leaf and covered in some red mystery powder that looked a lot like paprika. I asked our host and she told me it was a Yucatan spice called Achoite and she showed me the dried up fruit. Wow! All these years coming here and I am just finding this out now.
I wrote it down, because after chopping all those tomatoes for the salsa, I decided to make friends with the bartender instead 😉 I’m also thoroughly convinced that all Mexicans are crazy. Otherwise, why in the world would the chef have given a drunk tourist a sharp knife and tell them to cut tomatoes?
Anyway…I decided to go to the market in Cozumel and get me some Achoite spice. I was given the option of a huge red pasty brick or giant bag of dried seeds. I stupidly opted for the seeds (what the heck did I know?)
I got home and decided that I would give some of the seeds to my friend Roxanne because she is an amazing cook and I’m sure she would figure out how to use this stuff before me!
Then…I Googled some recipes. Turns out, I should have bought the pasty brick instead.
At home, I put some of the seeds in my mortar and started crushing them. It took forever to get any powder from them so finally I gave up and dumped the whole lot onto my fish and threw it in the oven. It was very tasty! I chowed down and then wondered if it was ok to eat the seeds or just enjoy the flavour of them on the fish.
Of course I ate them and then Googled “can you eat Achoite seeds?” With a full belly, I came across site after site saying that the fruit was inedible! What?!?! I kinda freaked out and thought that an hour from now I will be worshiping the porcelain Gods with severe food poisoning…what the hell was I thinking?
Ok, obviously that didn’t happen, WHEW! Turns out you cannot eat the fruit but the inside seeds are ok. Let’s face it, I will never, ever be a gourmet chef or scout leader at summer camp, and I’m really okay with that 😉
Here are some more photos to enjoy of Cozumel and Progreso…buon appetito!