PERU. Indigenous to the Caribbean and tropical America, the annatto shrub was even a favorite in colonial gardens. Annatto is esteemed for its delicate flavor, aroma and golden color. Peppery with a hint of nutmeg, annatto is used to color and flavor rice, chicken, fish, cheese and sauces. For ease of use, make some annatto oil by simmering 1-2 teaspoons of seeds in 1/4 cup vegetable oil for 10 minutes or until the oil is golden yellow. Strain out the seeds and discard. The refrigerated oil will keep several weeks.