How is Vanilla made?
Planting - Vine cuttings are planted. They take 18 months to mature and start flowering and are hand pollinated.
Harvest - The green pods are harvested after growing in the vine for 9 months. The pods are odorless.
Killing - The cellular tissue of the pods has to be killed to prevent further growth. This is usually done by extreme heating (sun, oven, boiling) or freezing.
Curing - The pods are kept in hot, humid conditions (45°- 65° C or 115° - 150° F) for 7 to 10 days. This allows the enzymes in the pods to cure into vanilla.
Drying - To keep the pods from rotting, they are dried. This is usually done by laying them in the sun. By the end of the drying process, the pods will lose 80% of their water weight. When they are done drying they will be aromatic.
2 interesting facts about Vanilla
2. 98% of Vanilla is made by chemicals.