We carry vanilla beans for the trade and wholesale market.
If you are interested in these versatile and wonderful products,
please do not hesitate to contact us. We have reasonable pricing
policy and order quantities for Bourbon and Tahitensis vanilla.
Gourmet Planiforia (Bourbon)
15 - 17
Gourmet Planiforia (Bourbon)
18 - 22
12 - 14
15 - 18
Manufactured (extraction Grade) Tahitensis
Manufactured (extraction Grade) Planiforia
10 L, 20 L, 30 L
CHOOSING VANILLA BEANS
Vanilla beans - those pricey, fragrant,
dried seed-pods that offer no easy clue about how to use
them - are native to tropical America. There are over 150
varieties of vanilla orchids (there are 27 varieties in
South Florida alone), but only two species are used commercially
to flavor and fragrance foods and beverages-- Bourbon and
Bourbon beans are botanically known as Vanilla
planifolia or Vanilla fragrans and originally came from
the Gulf Coast of Mexico. When grown in Mexico they're called
Mexican beans. On the other hand, beans from the same plant
stock are called Bourbon beans if they grow in Madagascar,
Indonesia, and many other regions. The big exception is
the beans from Tahiti. Even though Tahitian vanilla is now
considered its own species, the original plant stock also
came from Mexico.
Beans vary in flavor and fragrance when
they are grown in different parts of the world. Soil and
climate differences as well as methods of curing the beans
imbue unique qualities in beans. Vanilla grown only 20 miles
apart can have subtle but distinct differences in flavor
Tips for choosing quality beans:
Premium beans, regardless of where they
come from, should have a rich, full aroma, be oily to the
touch, and sleek in appearance. Beans to avoid are those
with very little scent, are smoky, brittle or dry, or are
are long and slender, with a very
rich taste and smell, have thick, oily skin, contain an
abundance of tiny seeds, and have a strong vanilla aroma.
Bourbon beans from Madagascar and the Comoros are described
as having a creamy, haylike, and sweet, with vanillin overtones.
Bourbon beans from other regions will be similar if they
are picked at peak ripeness and are properly cured.
Mexican beans are
very similar to Bourbon beans BUT have a more mellow,
smooth, quality and a spicy, woody fragrance.
Tahitian beans are usually
shorter, plumper, and contain a higher oil and water content
than Bourbon beans. The skin is thinner, contain fewer
seeds, and the aroma is fruity & floral. Described
as smelling like licorice, cherry, prunes, or wine.
All three types of vanilla are equally good to use though
their flavors are quite different. I suggest that you
experiment to determine which flavor you most like. Or
you may find, as I have, that you will choose beans that
best pair with the food or beverage you are preparing.
WHAT TO USE
The entire bean can be used as it is filled with flavour
and, in fact, the pod has more flavour than the seeds.
Cut the bean and use a portion at a time or you can use
the whole bean, depending on the depth of flavour required.
To cut open a bean, lay it flat on a cutting surface.
Holding one end of the bean to the surface, carefully
slice the bean open length-wise.
When separating the bean, thousands of tiny seeds are
exposed. This step shows why it is technically a seed-pod
rather than a bean.By cutting the bean open before placing
it in a liquid, more of the surface of the bean is exposed,
and the greater the flavouring properties. You can scrape
the seeds from the pod before removing the bean if you
Vanilla beans can usually be used several times depending
on how strenuously you've used them. For instance, if
you've placed a vanilla bean in a pitcher of lemonade
or a container of mulled cider or wine, the bean will
still contain a lot of flavor when the beverage is gone.
However, if you soak a vanilla bean in a hot cream mixture
then scrape out the seeds and pith, you will probably
still have some flavor left in the pod, but it won't be
Rinse and dry the bean pieces after using them. If there
is only the pod left, or, if the bean has been used several
times for flavouring beverages let the pieces dry, and
retire them to the sugar or coffee jar as they will exude
a delicate flavour and fragrance for some time to come.
Beans that have been used once or twice can also be ground
up and used to add additional flavour to ice creams, cookies,
and many other foods.
Do not throw out dry or withered beans. They will probably
re-hydrate in a warm liquid and will still contain flavour.
It is not recommend to cut open very dry beans until they
are rehydrated, as it's easy to have the knife slip.Grind
them up and use them in a recipe that calls for ground
Vanilla beans will keep indefinitely in a cool, dark
place in an airtight container. Don't refrigerate beans
as this can cause them to harden and crystallize. In the
humid tropics where beans are grown, they are wrapped
in oiled or waxed paper and stored in tin boxes. In a
cooler, drier climate, keep beans wrapped in plastic in
an airtight plastic tub or glass jar. In a hot humid climate,
this isn't a good idea as beans can mildew easily, especially
if additional moisture collects in the plastic.
Bourbon beans may develop a frosting of natural vanillin
crystals if they are kept them for a while. This usually
occurs over time and not when the beans are first cured
and dried. Called givre in French (which means light frost),
these crystals indicate that the beans are high in natural
vanillin and are of very good quality. These crystals
are quite edible and very flavourful. If you are uncertain
whether the beans are covered with crystals or mildewed,
take them into the sunlight. The crystals are similar
to mineral crystals and will reflect the sun's rays, creating
the colours of the rainbow. Mildew, on the other hand,
will be dull and flat in the light, and may also smell
bad. If the bean is mildewed, throw it away as the mildew
will spread to uninfected beans.
Foodservice professionals, retailers with bulk or prepared
foods and interested agents can contact us at email@example.com
Vanilla is the only edible fruit of the orchid
family, the largest family of flowering plants in the world.
It's a tropical orchid, and there are about
150 varieties of vanilla, though only two types - Bourbon
and Tahitian -- are used commercially.
Vanilla grows within the 20-degree band
either side of the Equator and is native to the Americas.
Vanilla planifolia (also known as fragrans) grows on the
Atlantic Gulf side of Mexico from Tampico around to the
north eastern tip of South America, and from Colima, Mexico
to Ecuador on the Pacific side. It also grows throughout
The Totonaca people of the Gulf coast of
Mexico were probably the first people to cultivate vanilla.
They taught many other indigenous people how to grow vanilla
during Meso-American times, and they continue to cultivate
the fruit that they consider was given to them by the gods.
Vanilla first left Mexico in the early 1500s
bound for Spain. Originally believed only to have value
as a perfume. It wasn't until Cortes arrived in 1519 that
the Spaniards learned it was also a flavour.
Until the late 19th century, Mexico had
the monopoly on growing vanilla, but now Madagascar and
Indonesia grow the majority of the world's crop. Other countries
growing vanilla include Guatemala, Costa Rica, Uganda, China,
India, Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Fiji, Tahiti, and the Philippines.
Vanilla is the world's most labour-intensive agricultural
crop, which is why it's so expensive. It takes up to three
years after the vines are planted before the first flowers
appear. The fruits, which resemble big green beans, must
remain on the vine for nine months to completely develop
their signature aroma. However, when the beans are harvested,
they have neither flavour nor fragrance. They develop
these distinctive properties during the curing process.
When the beans are harvested, they are treated with hot
water or heat and are then placed in the sun every day
for weeks-to-months until they have shrunk to 20% of their
original size. Upon the completion of this process, the
beans are sorted for size and quality. Then they will
rest for a month or two to finish developing their full
flavour and fragrance. By the time they are shipped around
the world, their aroma is quite remarkable!
Because of their value, growers branded the individual
beans when they were green and the markings remained after
they were dried. Whenever someone suspected their beans
were stolen, they could determine by their distinctive
tattoo whether or not the beans were theirs.
Bourbon vanilla is named for the islands now known as
Reunion and the Comoros, but in the early 19th century
were called the Bourbon Islands. The Bourbon vanilla plant
stock originally came from Mexico. Bourbon vanilla and
Mexican vanilla are basically the same.
Tahitensis (Tahitian vanilla) also originally comes from
Mexican plant stock, but it mutated at some point in the
last fifty to sixty years and became its own species.
It is significantly different from Bourbon and Mexican
About 1400 tons of dried vanilla is produced worldwide
each year. Worldwide interest in natural vanilla has grown
considerably in the past several years, however, and the
current annual demand is for 2200 tons of vanilla.
Vanilla is not only used as a flavour in foods and beverages,
but also in perfumes. It's also used in many industrial
applications such as a flavouring for medicines and as
a fragrance to conceal the strong smell of rubber tires,
paint, and cleaning products.
The dairy industry uses a large percentage of the world's
vanilla in ice creams, yoghurt (fresh and frozen), and
other flavoured dairy products.
Because vanilla is so much in demand, and because it's
so expensive, synthetics are often used instead of natural
vanilla. In fact, 97% of vanilla used as a flavour and
fragrance is synthetic.