Coming from a small island off the African east coast these beans are known for their buttery creaminess and smooth flavor. They’re a bit exotic, as these beans often possess hints of raw tobacco flavor lending them a certain masculine quality.
Madagascar vanilla beans are the most popular variety of vanilla bean and used in both professional and home kitchens worldwide. These beans are best for homemade extracts and work in practically all recipes.
Vanilla beans are one of the most unique, cherished, and utilized spices in the culinary world. In fact, one might say it well beats out saffron in each of these categories when you consider how nearly every home baker would fall into a state of collapse if their vanilla suddenly vanished.
Vanilla beans are actually derived from orchid plants. The vanilla orchid flower isn’t a fancy one; it’s rather skinny, with no inflorescence, and a pale yellow pallor that can hardly be considered appealing. Yet the orchids of the genus Vanilla aren’t prized for their looks but the seed pods they produce. These seed pods are packed with vanillin – the fragrant organic compound responsible for vanilla flavor.
Vanilla orchids require exhaustive effort and attention. To begin, they only grow in very specific climates and are notoriously sensitive, even with years of selective breeding to toughen them up. The plants are carefully grafted and trellised, then the flowers pollinated by hand. It then takes the seed pods six months to form and mature before they can be harvested. The pods then go through a complicated and extensive curing process that lasts another six months before being graded for quality based on size, appearance, moisture content, and aroma before being sold.
Vanilla bean fans that we are we only sell the highest quality vanilla beans. You’ll find each one to be fat, black, fragrant and wet. In other words: perfect.