A natural food dye, Carmine, also known as Cochineal Extract, is a red pigment obtained from the cochineal insect (Dactylopius coccus Costa). These insects are found mainly in South America and Mexico where they live as parasites on prickly pear cactuses. The resulting dye has been used for centuries and was a staple in many renaissance paintings. The modern use of Carmine is largely due to its stable, long-lasting color that doesn’t fade with exposure to light or heat. It has also been reported to be a safe colorant with no adverse health effects in most people. However, for a small percentage of individuals, it can cause allergic reactions from direct contact, ingestion and even inhalation. This is why the food giant Starbucks and several other major companies have recently stopped using this coloring. In addition, the use of Carmine is a problem for vegetarians and those who follow kosher foods.
In the beauty industry, Carmine is used for its bright red shade and superior permanence. It is also a great base to achieve cooler shades of pink or purple. It can be used by itself or in combination with a variety of other natural and synthetic dyes to provide a wide range of colors that will work for any skin tone.
Located in the heart of Ybor City on 7th Avenue, Carmine’s offers dishes from Italy, Cuba and Spain. From a lunchtime pressed Tampa Cuban Sandwich, to fresh filet Gulf Grouper or Devil’s Crab Enchilado for dinner; Carmine’s has something for everyone. Come visit and experience a true taste of Ybor City.