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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|
|Qualities||All Natural, Gluten-Free, Kosher Parve, Non-GMO|
|Country of Origin||Tonga|
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-They all arrived in about four business days, "juicy" fresh in vacuum sealed bag.
-Very large beans!
-No S&H charges, even though ordered just ten beans.
Additionally, last year I called Beanilla, to ask about all the beans they offer. The rep. was so very helpful and informative! Ended up ordering the (above) five beans to make more than enough for home made Vanilla Extract for 2013 and this year, 2014, ( just needed 10 more Tonga beans.).
If you'd like to read more, let me share with you, what I learned from vanilla making in 2013...after visiting many on line helpful sites...comments/suggestions from Beanilla customers :
*Do use Glass! 80 proof 750 ml Smirnoff Vodka (bought on sale...6 bottles gives an extra 10% discount at CVS in Las Vegas...cashier...wondered if she thought I was an alcoholic).
Pour off/save about 1/4 th cup into a very clean container
20/22... same beans...for each 750 ml glass bottle Smirnoff Vodka.
-Cut, length wise (kitchen sissors makes it So easy to do) each bean.
-Put the 20/22 beans in Smirnoff glass bottle. Cap tightly. Shake for 1/2 minutes. Open cap and pour in as much remaining Smirnoff as bottle will hold...with a 1/4th space. Tightly put cap back on! Shake for one minute.
Label each bottle with type of bean and date. Put in cool, out of direct sun. (I keep mine on kitchen counter where no sun can reach bottles. A/C goes almost full time here in Vegas from May?-->Sept./Oct. each year.
EVERY week for 2/4 months, shake each bottle! Last year's beans in Vodka for 2 months. This year going to do for 4 months.
Strain out,, via a mesh strainer the beans...into a bowl. Strain extract, again, through a coffee filter to eliminate the seeds. (Some people might like vanilla with the seeds for ice cream/other deserts.
Now, the fun begins after 2/4 months of "nursing"/caring for your home made Outstandingly better than any you can buy on line :
**Buy/have on hand your amber washed and totally dried bottles and lids (Do my bottles in dishwasher...hand wash lids... 1/2..1 oz.. 1 1/2 oz.. 2/3 oz bottles:
Put each bottle into a small salad bowl?...to capture any over spill...save for next bottle to fill. With a little funnel, (just big enough to fit into top of each bottle), use a tiny ladle or 1/8 th cup, etc. to s-l-o-w-l-y fill each bottle...to 1/8 inch from top of each lid. Wipe top of each bottle and tightly screw on each lid. Keep in cabinet/anywhere that's out of sun.
Your home made vanilla will make a little fine gift(s) for family, friends, any event needing a sharing gift from your "heart".
Also purchased from them the shrink thingies to seal lids....like you would buy vanilla at store/on line. Slip top of one super thin thingie over bottle neck/seat it. With hair dryer on "High", blow across lid and thingie until thingie has sealed lid.
Labels for each kind of vanilla:
Found Vista Print, an online site, to design and make your own little self sticky labels:
Curved over top of each round label..."Homemade Vanilla". Curved around bottom of each label was my name.
Enough room in center of each label to hand write the kind of vanilla you've bottled.
Anyone, who reads this, rest assured that I am Not promoting any suggested sites I've used for amber round bottles, lids and shrink wrap thingies...nor site used for home made labels.