Tahitian Vanilla Beans

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WHERE DO THE BEST VANILLA BEANS COME FROM?

It does not matter where the vanilla bean comes from. (They all originated in Mexico and from there where taken to the other countries). Vanilla quality is all about letting nature take its time to mature. The vanilla bean is fully mature ONLY when yellow at the tip about 2" inches. This is when the "vanillin" has fully formed inside the bean. Now the long curing process starts but maturity of the bean is vital to have the best bean (yellow at the tip). Vanilla bean quality can be accurately measure with photo spectrometry in the amount of vanillin detected in the laboratory reading. The higher the vanillin reading the higher all the other attributes will be: aroma and flavor. Long shelf life will manifest by the show of vanillin crystals in the vanilla bean which keeps on getting better...

VANILLA HISTORY

Vanilla planifolia is indigenous to Mexico, where it is pollinated by tiny humming birds and a bee called Melipona . When it was transplanted to other parts of the world it did not produce beans until it was discovered that the small orchid blooms could be pollinated by hand. The vines grow around trees and when the flowers fall, the bean stops growing, thus it is very important to keep the flower from falling. That is why in Mexico, it was grown under the jungle canopy to protect it from high winds and hurricanes common to the tropics. It is important not to over pollinate the vine because this will dry it out and kill it. The Totonacas people of this region still grow vines with almost religious devotion because to them it was the gift of the gods. It is not uncommon to have a...