Whether pastries, desserts or other sweet dishes: Many dishes only become what they are through certain ingredients. Its secret ripens in the fruits of various orchid species, of which Vanilla planifolia is the best known. The so-called spiced vanilla provides an aromatic pulp that has numerous other properties in addition to its fine flavor.
Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar
When it comes to vanilla, most people immediately think of Bourbon vanilla, which comes from the Bourbon Islands. The Bourbon Islands include the following countries: Madagascar, Reunion Island, Seychelles, Mauritius and Comoros. The main quantities are grown in Madagascar, which is generally the largest producer of vanilla in the world. Originally, the vanilla, which is a species of orchid, comes from Mexico. In Mexico, the vanilla is naturally pollinated by a species of bee. In all other countries of the world, the flowers must be individually pollinated by hand. With one reason why vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world.
Vanilla from Uganda
Compared to the vanilla volumes from Madagascar, Uganda is a much smaller growing country. However, it has the advantage that the harvest takes place twice a year. The main harvest takes place in July with about 2/3 of the annual quantity. In January, the significantly smaller harvest takes place with about 1/3 of the annual quantity. The aroma of the vanilla beans from Uganda are similar and comparable to those from Madagascar. Therefore excellent vanilla extracts or vanilla powder can be produced. Through our strategic partner in Uganda, the vanilla can be traced directly back to the grower in the field. Together with our partner we support the smallholders on site with education and training to achieve the best possible quality of vanilla. The partnership with the smallholders is based on a social foundation with the long-term goal of improving the quality of life of the farmers. The farmers are certified according to organic standards. Also, the first steps towards Fairtrade vanilla have been taken and the first farmers have been certified.
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The described process extends over several months and ensures a correspondingly high price of the spice. Therefore, in addition to the pulp, it is worthwhile to use the hard shells of the pods. They can be used whole or finely ground.
Its effect extends not only to the taste of food or drink, but also has physiological effects. Vanilla powder or pulp stimulates the production of bile and is Page: 1 of 2 therefore digestive. In addition, a high iron and calcium content has a positive effect on blood formation, bone density and muscle strength. Last but not least, the charismatic spice is considered a proven aphrodisiac.
To benefit from all this is already enough a small amount of vanilla pulp or powder. However, it must necessarily be original orchid products. Inexpensive substitutes such as those obtained from guaiacol, eugenol or sugar beet pulp only give dishes a hint of the coveted aroma; the valuable active ingredients of the plain vanilla are missing.
The path that the plant takes from cultivation to the spice shelf is extremely convoluted. Its original home is Mexico, from where it first arrived on the French island of Bourbon. The vanilla beans produced here have established the spice’s worldwide fame; however, they are no longer the only available source of lovely flavor.
Meanwhile, vanilla-providing orchids are also grown on Madagascar and other islands in the Indian Ocean. From the South Pacific region originates a variety that is somewhat depreciated compared to the original. Unlike the finely spicy Bourbon vanilla, the Tahitian variety has a more floral aroma.
What both have in common is that the flowers have to be pollinated manually – because away from their region of origin, the few animal species that do this naturally are missing. But even so, elongated capsules resembling green beans ripen after 6-8 months and are harvested shortly before maturity.
After a bath in hot water and subsequent sun-drying, they must dry for 3-4 weeks packed airtight. During this process, the pods shrink to a third of their original volume and take on the distinctive black-brown color. Parallel to this, substances develop that provide the typical vanilla flavouring.
The selection in our store includes both whole and processed pods that have their origin in organic cultivation. The resulting organic vanilla is free of synthetic fertilizers and preservatives. As a pure natural product, it unfolds its full flavor not only in baked goods and desserts, but also in savory dishes and cocktails. Vanilla planifolia
Do you have any questions and would you like to find out more about our high-quality products?
Feel free to contact us and let us advise you individually and in detail. We look forward to hearing from you and are happy to provide you with advice and assistance.
Tobien Trading GmbH
t: +41 44 586 32 01
t: +41 44 586 32 01