We source all our Vanilla beans from Madagascar. Bourbon Madagascan Vanilla Pods are described as being creamy and sweet, with vanilla overtones. Some people refer to Vanilla beans as Vanilla Pods, but it means the same thing and can be used interchangeably. We prefer the term beans here.
The best quality vanilla beans regardless of where they come from, are dark skinned, soft and pliable and we only source the best Grade A black vanilla pods. Use the strongly aromatic beans split to get more flavour from the thousands of tiny seeds inside the pods.
Vanilla beans are perfect in recipes that use liquid to infuse the beans to extract the most flavour. Great examples of this are Ice cream, Crème brûlée and Custard. They also work well in many other cakes, desserts, and other culinary applications.
We supply Vanilla for your everyday home cooking and offer wholesale and trade quantities. If you have any questions, please get in touch using our contact page.
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Vanilla bean or vanilla pod?
The Vanilla Pod or Bean as we call them, grow on a vine which is why they are also known as a bean.
Vanilla is a wonderfully spicy and sweet flavouring and is created from the vanilla orchid.
The vanilla orchid is one of the only few edible orchids in the world.
Where are vanilla pods from?
Where are Vanilla pods from, you might ask? There are three main types of Vanilla that are produced commercially. This includes Vanilla Planifolia grown in Madagascar, Vanilla Tahitens is grown in the South Pacific and Vanilla Pompona found in the West Indies, Central America and South America.
The majority of the World's Vanilla is Vanilla Planifolia. Due to its high Vanillin content, it is the most commonly used Vanilla in extract production.
Vanillin is the primary compound that gives us the familiar aroma and flavour that we all associate with vanilla.
What can I use instead of vanilla pods?
Vanilla extract makes a great substitute for Vanilla Pods when you haven’t got any available. It is difficult to say exactly how much to use, but a good guide is using 1 teaspoon in place of one Vanilla pod.
However, at Vanilla etc we recommend going on taste. If you desire a stronger Vanilla flavour, you should increase the amount of Vanilla extract used to your own requirements.
Why are vanilla pods expensive?
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice available today (just after saffron). Each flower on the Vine is hand pollinated which takes many hours of work.
Once the beans have reached the right time for picking, there is a lengthy process in preparation bringing it to what we know as a Vanilla Bean.
After the various stages of processing the beans are finally left to mature. This develops that heavenly Vanilla flavour and Aroma that we are familiar with. A process which takes around 6 months.
Another factor that has contributed to the high price is severe weather damaging the crop. Damage caused by weather can lead to a reduction in the harvest available to buy and therefore an increase in price to the consumer.