Ingredients Include: Madagascar Vanilla Beans
Vanilla is native to Mexico, but is now grown commercially in many places around the globe. Our vanilla beans are grown in Madagascar and have a rich, creamy flavor with moderate tobacco and licorice notes. Madagascar beans are the ones commonly called for in recipes.
The cultivation of vanilla is an extremely labor-intensive process involving the hand pollination of every vanilla plant in ensure the production of a vanilla bean. As the beans grow, any curved pods are removed so only good, straight ones remain. Vanilla beans are harvested by hand over a three-month period, as the beans do not all mature at the same time. When vanilla beans are picked, they are green in color and nearly tasteless. The beans must be cured to develop their full flavor and aroma. After the beans are harvested, they undergo an extensive drying and curing process that can take up to six months. After this process, the beans become more pliable and turn a dark brown to black color.
Vanilla beans may be used as a whole pod or cut and the seeds removed. One vanilla bean is equal to 1 tbsp. of extract. Vanilla beans work well with cardamom, chili, cinnamon, and cloves, and are used to flavor chocolate, cookies, ice cream, coffee, and other sweet deserts. The beans can also be used to create homemade vanilla extract. Simply add 5-7 split beans (depending on size) to 8 oz. of 35% alcohol (bottom shelf vodka works best but you can also use rum or bourbon). Eight weeks later the extract is ready to enjoy.
*Due to a poor harvest in Madagascar this year, vanilla beans have increased significantly in price. We will continue to procure only the highest quality beans and will strive to keep our prices competitive. We appreciate your understanding during this time and hope to see a better vanilla harvest in the future!
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