Carmine is a red dye that is used in food and some cosmetics to create a vibrant red color. It is a colorant obtained from the body and eggs of insects (Dactylopius coccus Costa, also known as cochineal), which are harvested from cactus plants in South America and Mexico. It is a safe and natural coloring and it does not cause allergic reactions in most people. It is sometimes added to foods as a substitute for synthetic red dyes, which can be expensive. It is also used in cosmetics as a natural alternative to synthetic dyes to make pinks and purples more vivid. It is often listed as “natural red four” or “crimson lake” on food labels, although it can also be found under many names, including “carminic acid,” “carmine 5297 ultra-fine,” and “natural rose liquid.”
In response to a petition by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the FDA has required food manufacturers to clearly identify all colors extracted from animals in order to help those with allergies better identify what causes their allergic reactions. Carmine is a common ingredient in many makeup products, especially traditional and natural beauty brands. It is not a vegan ingredient, however, so it is not appropriate for vegans and those who follow kosher rules.
Artie Cutler grew up in the town of Carmine and he founded his restaurants with one singular vision; to bring families together over “wow-factor” sized plates of Southern Italian cuisine that would make anyone feel like they are having a Sunday afternoon dinner at Grandma’s house. He is still involved with each restaurant on a daily basis and supervises all aspects of operations. He has worked every position in the restaurant from dishwashing to cooking to management; giving him the hands-on experience that he needs to pass on to his staff so they can deliver the same excellent service to their guests.