Vanilla

mmmmmmh... Vanilla.

What is Vanilla?

Vanilla is a substance obtained from vanilla beans or produced artificially and used to flavor sweet foods or to impart a fragrant scent to "vanilla ice cream."

Vanilla Production Stages

Planting - Vine cuttings are planted. They take 18 months to mature and start flowering and are hand pollenated.

Harvest - The green pods are harvisted after growing on the vine for 9 months. The pods are odorless

Killing - The celular tisue of the pods has to be killed to prevent further growth. This is usually done by extreame heating (sun, oven, boiling) or freezing.

Curing - The pods are kept in hot, humid conditions (45º-65°C or 115º-150°F) for 7 to 10 days. This allows the enzymes in the pods to cure into vanillin.

Drying - To keep the pods from rotting, they are dried. This is ussually done by laying them in the sun. By the end of the drying process, the pods will loose 80% of their water weight. When they are done drying they will be arromatic.

Facts about Vanilla

  • More than 75% of Vanilla is grown in Madagascar and Reunion.
  • Refrigerating Vanilla beans cause them to harden and crystallize.
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