Vanilla Beans (Tongan)
Why call something boring or plain, “vanilla”? Vanilla is anything but plain and boring. It’s exciting and – dare we say – sexy. Tongan beans, with their cherry flavor and autumn air aroma, are proof of that.
Tongan bean are the most savory of the bunch – flavors of wood, stone, and cherry are the defining qualities. Add to the fillings for stuffed pork loins and use for spiced marinades. If you’re a fan of fine English fare then use a Tongan bean in a Cumberland sauce and serve over duck or boar for a dinner you won’t soon forget.
Vanilla beans are one of the most unique, cherished, and utilized spices in the culinary world. In fact, one might say it well beats out saffron in each of these categories when you consider how nearly every home baker would fall into a state of collapse if their vanilla suddenly vanished.
Vanilla beans are actually derived from orchid plants. The vanilla orchid flower isn’t a fancy one; it’s rather skinny, with no inflorescence, and a pale yellow pallor that can hardly be considered appealing. Yet the orchids of the genus Vanilla aren’t prized for their looks but the seed pods they produce. These seed pods are packed with vanillin – the fragrant organic compound responsible for vanilla flavor.
Vanilla orchids require exhaustive effort and attention. To begin, they only grow in very specific climates and are notoriously sensitive, even with years of selective breeding to toughen them up. The plants are carefully grafted and trellised, then the flowers pollinated by hand. It then takes the seed pods six months to form and mature before they can be harvested. The pods then go through a complicated and extensive curing process that lasts another six months before being graded for quality based on size, appearance, moisture content, and aroma before being sold.
Vanilla bean fans that we are we only sell the highest quality vanilla beans. You’ll find each one to be fat, black, fragrant and wet. In other words: perfect.
|Grade||Grade A (Gourmet/Premium/Prime)|
|Length||7-8 inches (18cm - 20cm)|
|Flavor Profile||complex, heady, red wine, strong, full, rich|
|Basic Preparation||To use a vanilla bean, cut each end off from the vanilla bean and slice through the vanilla bean lengthwise, remove the paste from inside the vanilla bean and use as needed.|
|Shelf Life||1 year|
|Handling / Storage||Store in a cool, dry place.|
|Country of Origin||Tonga|
|Dietary Preferences||All Natural, Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve, Non-GMO|
|Allergen Information||None Specified|