Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How To Use a Vanilla Bean

How to use the Vanilla Bean: To use the vanilla bean the first thing you need to do is split the bean lengthwise, using a paring knife. Then scrape the seeds free from both sides of the bean with the edge of the knife, and add to whatever it is you are cooking. If you are cooking a sauce, add the pod to the mixture as well. When the vanilla has steeped into the sauce, strain the pod out, but DON'T THROW IT AWAY! Rinse the bean and allow it to dry at room temperature. Bury the used, dry vanilla pods in your sugar for a wonderful vanilla flavored sugar.
Slicing the vanilla bean. Scrapping out the vanilla "caviar" from the inside of the vanilla bean

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

So Much Vanilla So Little Time

Okay so there are over 100 varieties of vanilla...I know would of thought there were sooo many...but of those there are only three types we use commercially; which are Planifolia, Pompona and Tahitian.

Madagascar / Bourbon vanilla-Bourbon vanilla is the generic name for vanilla species Vanilla Planifolia. Bourbon vanilla has the familiar vanilla flavor we have come to know and love, such as that in ice cream, flavored desserts and drinks. Madagascar Bourbon is the most sought after bourbon vanilla bean and is considered the best. Madagascar has aromas of wood, oil, and leather with wide flat pods.

Mexican Vanilla is a gift of Mexico to the world. Mexican vanilla beans are chocolate brown to black in color, their aroma is clean and delicate.
Tahitian vanilla originates from a hybrid of Vanilla Planifolia and Vanilla Odorata. Now regarded as a different species, it's appearance and flavor is considerably different to planifolia vanilla. Tahitian vanilla is earthly and fruity, with less natural vanillin than planifolia.

Pompona Vanilla is grown in the Antilles and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. The vanilla pods are considered of lower quality than either planifolia or tahitian. The beans tend to be smaller, around 3", with less vanillin then the planifolia varieties.
So in a nut shell vanilla is a pretty interesting many different types and flavors...who would of thought there would be many different uses to this...I didn't, that's for sure.
If you want to get more information on our vanilla beans go to our website at