Facts About Vanilla Beans For Cooking

On May 2, 2012 by Editor

Vanilla beans are a wonderful and versatile thing. Everyone has had food that contained vanilla at one point or another

Vanilla beans grown in the plantations of Kera...

Vanilla beans grown in the plantations of Kerala, India. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

. Whole vanilla beans can be used for a wide variety of things including ice cream, cakes, and much more. The beans can be used whole, or made into extracts and pastes. Using fresh whole beans can create much better flavor that using the traditional extracts that people most often use for baking. If you have ever wondered where to buy vanilla beans, they are much easier to find in today’s world with so many online retailers. They can be priced higher than other spices. This is because it is more labor intensive and costly to produce the crop. I will write more about the plants and production of vanilla beans in this article.

 

The species of orchid which produces vanilla beans that is most commonly grown is Vanilla planifolia. This species originated in Mexico and is now grown in many tropical climates. Madagascar is one of the world’s leading producers of the plant. The plant grows as a vine and climbs up a tree or pole. The seeds are what produce that great flavor we all know. The beans grow quickly, but then must mature on the vine until it is time to harvest them which is about 9 months. Harvesting at the right time is critical, and the plants must be checked daily when nearing maturity.

 

The values of the beans are determined by their length. They are often graded as either grade C, B, or grade A. Ones that are over 15 centimeters in length are the highest grade available. There are quite a few seeds inside each pod. A well established vine has the ability to produce a few kilograms of seed pods. After the harvest, they need to be cured and processed. This involves slow drying and conditioning of the pods. Once this is completed, they are shipped to retail stores where you and I can purchase them. When you purchase vanilla beans, it is best to store them in a cool, dry, and dark place until you use them. They will usually remain fresh for about six months. After they have been stored for a while, before you use them, it is best to let them sit in open air for a little bit first. Ice cream is usually the first thought when you mention the use of these tasty beans, but you can use them in a wide range of recipes. If you have never tried using them before, you do not know what you are missing. Have a great time and enjoy cooking.

 

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Find the freshest and best tasting vanilla beans for sale here: http://www.wheretobuyvanillabeans.com/ The author has much experience in cooking with vanilla and knows where to get the best beans. Whole beans can also be used to make extract or paste at home.

 

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