Vanilla orchid

Vanilla is used as a flavouring in many foods we buy today. Yet most of our experience with it is very limited, especially in the UK. More and more people today are asking; “What is Real Vanilla?” because up to now it was an exclusive and even elusive product to find here.

People often confuse Extract and Essence, the latter is made with artificial falvourings.

What is Essence?

Also known as artificial vanilla extract, is typically made using water, ethanol, propylene glycol, emulsifiers, and other chemically produced flavors and colours.

It gets its flavour from synthetic vanillin, which is much cheaper than using vanilla beans.

What is Extract?

Extract is made using water, Ethanol, real vanilla beans, and Sugar. Nothing else, that’s why all of our Extracts are Gluten-Free, Allergen-Free, GMO-Free, Kosher Certified
Suitable for Vegans.

To help you get a better understanding, here are a few essential facts:

  • The Vanilla beans that we are familiar with today are the fruit from a variety of orchid species known as Planifolia. The orchid family is the largest group of flowering plants in the world, yet vanilla is the only edible fruit found among them.
  • The main crop-producing plant is called “V. Planifolia”.
  • Due to its high vanillin content, it is one of the primary sources of vanilla flavouring.
  • It is classed as a spice in culinary terms.
  • It is the most labour-intensive agricultural crop.
  • It is the second most expensive spice in the world (to saffron!).
  • Currently, the US is the biggest importer, followed by France.

The best extract is made using the highest quality extraction grade beans, the correct methods, and in our case at Vanilla Etc a passion for our products and our customers!!!

Have a read of what the Great Taste Judges judges say about our Gourmet Madagascan beans: “These are indeed plump, moist and full of flavour. True, delicious, warm vanilla flavour. Full of integrity. Lots of it. We added them into some cream and the flavour after only a minute was already aromatic and pretty fabulous. After 5 minutes, even better. This was cold cream – we can only imagine the intensity after heating it through. Mellow, sweet vanilla – beautiful and soft on the palate. Exquisite.” 

If you have any questions, please get in touch using our contact page.