Vanilla Bean & Seeds Vanilla planifolia
Origin Tropical America
Part Used Pod
An important discovery by the Spanish explores who named it vanilla, they found the Aztecs using this brown bean to flavor their hot chocolate drink.
From a tree in the orchid family, the pods are harvested while immature, so they don't burst. The vanilla bean is a powerful flavoring tool, used in custards, pastry creams and ice creams vanilla enjoys a very identifiable and popular flavor with the public.
Pure Vanilla, used as a whole bean or in extract form, with its sweet aroma, makes desserts taste better. To use in cooking, split the bean down the middle, roll the skin open, and chop into 2" hunks. Vanilla beans are cigar-shaped seed pods of the fragrant climbing orchids native to Mexico. As said above, beans are carefully cut from the vine while green, and cured by sweating under blankets, giving them their characteristic black color and distinctive, fragrant flavor. Superior beans, such as those from Madagascar and Mexico, are handled carefully and cured to a consistency that is neither too moist nor too dry. The best vanilla beans are grown to 7-8 inches. Smaller beans do not have as nice a flavor and bring in a lower price. Longer beans demand a higher price, but farmers take the risk that a tropical storm will damage their crop, or fear that their beans will be stolen during the night while they sleep.
Use Using vanilla beans: Vanilla beans can be used in two ways-for desserts that have a liquid base, such as cream sauces, ice cream, sweet breads or custard, the bean can be steeped in the liquid. For these desserts, half a bean is usually enough to impart great flavor to any recipe.
Available Whole pods, extract