When stored correctly, vanilla beans will actually improve their quality over time. Because it’s unlikely that you will be able to find the ‘ideal’ conditions, following these guidelines will keep your Madagascan Gourmet vanilla pods in excellent condition:
Keep beans in a dark place – never refrigerate or freeze. Ideally in a temperature range between 15 – 18 degrees C.
Tightly triple wrap in cling film or if you are lucky enough to have a vacuum packer, vacuum pack them in small lots, squeezing out as much air as possible.
Store these wrapped packages in an airtight container.
Vanilla should be aired regularly, particularly in the summer months when temperatures are higher to make sure that the beans are not sweating in their packaging. If there are any signs of moisture, remove from the packaging and air dry until the moisture has gone and re-wrap tightly in cling film. If left moist, mould can develop as can happen with any natural product. We recommend checking your stored beans regularly or at least 6 times a year. Remove the beans from the container and wrapping to allow them to breathe/air dry for about 15 minutes or longer until dry. If moist, Re-wrap the beans after airing.
Dry or mouldy beans
Be cautious, that what looks like ‘mould’ may be the valuable ‘caviar’ content of the bean that has crystallized on the outer skin – in this case, do not disturb as this indicates that the beans are high in natural vanillin and are very good quality.
Mould can be a fluffy or cottony substance and is quite unpleasant as you can see in the image below.
If you are uncertain whether the beans are covered in crystals or mould you can check them in sunlight. The crystals are similar to mineral crystals and will reflect the sunlight, creating the colours of the rainbow, mould however will not. If mould appears, discard the beans, as they will contaminate good beans and may become a health hazard as seen below. Not a very nice sight.
Images below show beautiful Vanilla crystals on the Vanilla bean.
Correctly stored beans may be kept for up to 2 years. However, we recommend buying quantities of beans that you will use within a year.
Any questions, please get in touch using our contact page.