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Madagascar vanilla pods are the fruit or seed pod of the orchid species Vanilla planifolia. Only a small number of the more than 100 kinds of vanilla plants in the vanilla genus, which is native to Mexico, are grown for commercial purposes. The most prevalent species of vanilla is vanilla planifolia, and Madagascar and Mexico both grow this particular variation.
It’s almost impossible to describe the taste of Madagascar Vanilla Pods because it has one of the most complex flavors on the planet. This is also the reason why a premium vanilla bean or pod is so unique. All at once, there are floral, sweet, earthy, dried dark fruit, wood, and leather flavors.
Vanillin, an organic compound that produces the distinctively sweet, toasty, and creamy qualities of vanilla, is what gives it its dominant flavor. Another factor contributing to the intense flavor of Madagascar vanilla pods is that they have higher vanillin concentrations than beans from other nations. Although vanillin predominates, real vanilla beans contain more than 250 other compounds, many of which elicit complex spicy, floral, and fruity aromas.
Use a paring knife to cut open a Madagascar vanilla pod lengthwise. The vanilla caviar is made from the black inner seeds, which can be removed using the knife’s spine. Then you may incorporate the vanilla caviar into sauces, syrups, icing, cookie dough, cake batter, glazes, ice cream, puddings, and more.
The vanilla-flavored scraped-out pod has a strong flavor and can be used to flavor a bottle of spirits or left in a jar with cane sugar for about a week to produce vanilla sugar.
In the realm of spices, Madagascar vanilla pods are regarded as the pinnacle of excellence. The majority of the finest vanilla beans in the world are produced in Madagascar’s Sava region, which is located in its humid northeastern corner. These delicate plants flourish in the fertile, loamy soil and abundant rains.
Quality vanilla bean cultivation and curing are entirely manual arts. There are no natural pollinators for vanilla produced outside of Mexico. Each vanilla orchid flower needs to be carefully hand-pollinated. This method was discovered in 1841, on the neighboring island of Reunion. The treasured vanilla bean was only able to grow when a 12-year-old slave named Edmond Albius painstakingly joined the male and female portions of the flower together with a whittled stick. The technique is still known as “Edmond’s gesture” or “le geste d’Edmond.”
Vanilla beans are shipped in either vacuum sealed or glass vial packages. If your vanilla arrives in vacuum sealed packaging, we suggest that you do not open the package until usage. We do recommend that you remove the beans from the package after approximately 6 months. Keep in mind that you might see a brown liquid throughout the vacuum sealed packaging. Do not be concerned; this liquid is simply oil squeezed from the vanilla beans during the vacuum sealing process. If your vanilla arrives in a glass vial, we recommend that you remove the beans within 3-4 months.
You should never store your vanilla beans in the refrigerator. Refrigeration will dry out your beans and excess moisture can promote a particular type of mold specific to vanilla. We recommend storing your airtight container in a cool, dark place such as a pantry or basement.