- The cactus, or more precisely, the cochineal insects that feed on it yield a red-purple stain when crushed.
- The Aztecs cultivated cochineal and produced a red dye that was the brightest and strongest color Europe had ever seen.
- Farmed, harvested, and dried by natives on small family plots, cochineal insects helped color the silks and wools of Hapsburg royalty.
- The brightly-coloured snack contains a red dye processed from the dried body of the female cochineal insect, collected in central America.
- The kermes was expensive and the abundant cochineal insect could be used to make a cheap substitute.
2(dye)cochinilla femeninocarmín masculino