vanilla bean bunch

The Magic of an Orchid

Vanilla, the “queen of spices”, has a long history of adventure and magic. Legend has it that the Aztec emperor Montezuma welcomed the conquistador Hernan Cortez with xocolatl, a vanilla flavored chocolate drink, served in golden cups. The tale begins during the Mayas and Aztecs era, after which vanilla was introduced to Europe, Bourbon Island (now called Reunion), and finally to Madagascar where it has flourished for over 180 years.

Vanilla, the Focus of Much Attention

The cultivation of vanilla, the queen of spices, has been carefully established, developed and perfected and like all rare spices, has its own particular rituals and techniques which require meticulous care. In addition to dexterity, flexibility and speed, the preparation process also necessitates a knowledge of good practice, derived from the ancestral know-how of Malagasy farmers. To ensure that the green beans ripen into glossy black strips, a series of steps are needed and delicate and patient work must be done in order to tame this delicate flower.

Read more about the steps of the Vanilla Curing process

 

  • Vanilla beans should be stored in a closed container in a dry, cool and dark place. The cold isn't the vanilla best friend so do not store your beans in the refrigerator or freezer as they will either dry out or become moldy!
  • Experts recommend letting your beans breathe by exposing them to air every few weeks for a few minutes.

  • It takes 4 g of vanilla beans to flavor 1 liter of milk or hot stock.
  • The Aztecs called vanilla tlilxóchitl which means black flower.
  • Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world next to saffron.