vanilla cultivation

History and Facts

The History of Vanilla

THE LITTLE POD

The slender and beautiful orchid vine was first cultivated by the Totonac people of Mexico (From whom in the 15th century, the Aztecs took up the passion for the exotic plant). Later, when the Spanish conquerors won over the Aztecs, they brought Vanilla to their home – Europe. From there, its flavour spread across the world.

However, the transplantation was not that easy, as the Melipona bee and the Humming bird were two critical players in Vanilla pollination. Later, when Edmund Albius, from the French Island of Réunion discovered that the pale green flowers could be hand pollinated with a thin bamboo stick, the orchid experienced a rebirth in extended cultivation. The New World Bean, as Vanilla fruits are referred to, soon became a nonpareil ingredient of chocolate products which spearheaded its popularity in Europe.

Today, the dairy industry uses the largest percentage of the world's Vanilla in ice creams, yoghurt and other flavoured dairy products. Vanilla remains the most popular flavour of ice cream and is an irreplaceable ingredient in chocolates. The cosmetic industry uses this indispensable ingredient in perfumes, room fresheners, and oils as well as medicines.

Farm to Fork

HOW GOODNESS VANILLA REACHES YOU

vanilla-seedings

The quintessential flavour of goodness vanilla is a result of our caring and hardworking farmers and the all-natural way of processing we pursue

Vanilla is one of the world's most labour intensive crops. The orchid plant flowers once a year over a period of approximately two months with large, fragrant and waxy flowers. They usually open in the early morning and are receptive to pollination for about 6 hours. A single plant can produce any number of flowers; however, a single flower can produce only one bean.

Vanilla cultivation requires great care and attention, and our labour of love begins with the Vanilla plant. The flowers open only for a day and every flower is then hand-pollinated. The ripe pods are handpicked when they are 9 - 10 months old and are still green in colour. If they are picked too soon, the vanillin content and quality of the bean will be lower. If they are left on the vine too long, they will become over-ripe and split on the vine.

Different curing methods are used around the world, but the ultimate goal is to produce dark brown, blemish free, supple, aromatic pods. From flower to flavour, our pods are cured to perfection, bringing out the delectable undertones & aroma of true Vanilla.

Fine Vanilla is a work of nature perfected through traditional processes. Post-harvest, the best scores of Vanilla Beans are carefully sorted and then cured by means of our own indigenously developed processing method. The beans are blanched, sweated, and sun dried over a period of weeks until they turn moist, dark-brown and wrinkled. They are then conditioned for months to bring out the rich aroma and flavour in the pods which are then crafted into extracts and powders.

The Price Factor

Why is vanilla so expensive?

Vanilla is one of the world's most labour intensive crops. The orchid plant flowers once a year over a period of approximately two months with large, fragrant and waxy flowers. They usually open in the early morning and are receptive to pollination for about 6 hours. A single plant can produce any number of flowers; however, a single flower can produce only one bean.

The Real Deal

REAL VANILLA (250 COMPOUNDS) VS ARTIFICIAL VANILLA

vanilla-seedings

The market however is aplenty with artificial vanilla which is Vanillin chemically processed out of petrochemical sources or out of lignin in wood bark. Any skilled palate can discern the taste of imitation vanilla from real vanilla since such products usually have a harsh quality with a bitter aftertaste.

Store your Vanilla

VANILLA STORAGE?

It is important to store your Vanilla Pods in a tight container away from sunlight, so that the moisture content which determines its quality and flavour is retained. Vanilla Pods can be stored up to two years or longer in its original glass vial or jar, as long as it is stored airtight in a cool, dry place away from light. Do not refrigerate it as this can cause the Pods to harden.