With its sweet and delectable aroma and creamy notes, Vanilla is often regarded as the world's most popular flavour. It is also the most widely used flavouring used in baking, confectionery, desserts, and ice cream which is why it is sometimes referred to as a "baker’s best friend."
Premium, all-natural Vanilla is also the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron, and for good reason as explained below.
Where Does Vanilla Come From?
Vanilla is derived from the cured unripened pods or "vanilla beans" grown from orchids from various species of the genus Vanilla. One particular species Vanilla Planifolia (also known as the flat-leaved vanilla or Vanilla Fragrans) — is the source of 90% of the pure vanilla on the market.
Native to Mexico and Belize, Vanilla Planifolia can only grow in hot, wet, tropical climates and premium vanilla is only grown commercially in four main regions: Veracruz, Mexico, Tahiti, Indonesia, and Madagascar. Much like wine, vanilla beans derive their quality, flavour profile, and unique characteristics from the terroir of the region it originates from. This is not only due to differences in climate and soil but also from the unique, time-honored methods of cultivation, harvest, and curing that each region practices.
How Does Vanilla Vary Across Regions?
Mexican Vanilla is the original birthplace of the vanilla plant and where it was first cultivated. The flavour profile of Mexican Vanilla Beans have a mellow, smooth quality and a spicy, woody fragrance with more earthy aroma notes.
Madagascar Vanilla (also known as Bourbon Vanilla) is where two-thirds of the world’s vanilla is produced, making it by far the most common and popular variety. Madagascar vanilla is derived from the same plant species as Mexican vanilla but unlike Mexico where the plants are pollinated by bees Madagascar vanilla must be hand pollinated by skilled farmers.
Hand selected at their ripest to develop distinctive flavor and aroma, our farmers in Mexico and Madagascar produce some of the world’s finest vanilla and we deliver it to you directly from our farms to your kitchen. Our offerings include Vanilla Beans, Powder, Extract, Pastes, Sugars, and blends made with Sea Salt and Sea Salt With Chilli.