This is a seed of a fruit which is used as food colouring. The seed is a rusty red colour, and in pre-columbian times the extracted dye was used to decorate bodies, clothes and utensils. In Central America it is used as commonly as salt and pepper in the western world. As well as giving a golden colour to food it mildly flavours also. My Nicaraguan mum loved to use this seed in her cooking especially for soups.