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A Short Guide to Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans

The origin of vanilla beans can be traced back to Pre-Columbian society, in the region that forms modern day Mexico.

Author: Sarah Neil
Date: Feb 20, 2012 - 2:30:29 AM


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Whether resting with an indulgently rich and dark coffee or tucking into the veritable naughtiness of a sweet baked cake, vanilla beans have a way of tickling your taste buds whilst sending your senses to a new level. From humble beginnings in South America to today’s highly sought after Madagascar equivalent, the taste of vanilla has intrigued and impressed both the cooking connoisseur and kitchen laymen alike. Today, Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans are available through the internet, allowing you to enjoy the perfect vanilla taste without having to resort to a poorly-made essence.

Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans: a Brief History

The origin of vanilla beans can be traced back to Pre-Columbian society, in the region that forms modern day Mexico. Orchid plants were utilized by the likes of the Aztec and Totonac nations thanks to their containing sweet tasting beans, rich in vanillin. These beans were cultivated and, just as today, used as flavoring in certain food dishes and drinks. Following the Spanish conquest of South America, it is said that Hernán Cortés returned to Europe with vanilla.

The orchid plants were pollinated by a native species of bee. As such, vanilla beans were exclusive to Mexico for centuries. The discovery of hand pollination (the simple act of using a stick to remove the pollen of a male and insert it into a female plant) however opened up the possibility of growing orchids in other locations across the globe.

Today Madagascar, a large island located off of the east coast of the African continent, is the number one harvester of vanilla beans. Its specialty, Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans, are exported globally and recognized as some of the best examples of their kind. A number of other Indian Ocean nations, including the island of Reunion, have been known to produce similar beans.

Vanilla Beans: a Treat in Your Kitchen

Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans should be a feature in any kitchen. Whilst an assortment of herbs and spices are more common, few are able to add zest to both food dishes and drinks. The addition of just a few seeds in your cake mixture adds a new dynamic to baking, whilst whole vanilla beans transform ice cream from ‘boring’ vanilla to a delicious flavor worth writing home about.

Regardless of season, be it winter or summer, the addition of vanilla beans to your favorite drink enhances flavor whilst offering a sense of luxury. Whether using the beans themselves or adding a teaspoon of home-made vanilla sugar your morning coffee or evening hot chocolate become sumptuousness. On those fortunate days when the sun shines, add a few seeds to some milk and ice cream and enjoy the perfect vanilla milkshake.

It doesn’t have to cease there either. The rich aroma that accompanies vanilla beans, before and after cutting, is enough to add a somewhat unique scent to your kitchen. Like the smell of baking, a trace of vanilla in the air makes the kitchen that much more appealing.

Vanilla Beans: a Convenient Approach

The kitchen need not be limited to just beans either. Authentic vanilla extract, made directly from Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans, offers a fine, easy-to-store alternative that is equally as delicious when added to desserts and beverages. It’s also compatible with other extracts, including those derived from fruits. Best of all though, it’s one of a number of vanilla formats that allow you to save time and effort.

Those that find de-seeding a bean too finicky or time-consuming may prefer to utilize vanilla paste. This time-saving ingredient will enhance the richness of your cooking and baking in the same manner that whole of a bean does.

Likewise powder created from Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans. This is another timesaving method of adding exquisite taste to food and drink. The fine powder, which is cut to a similar size as granulated sugar, offers completely natural flavors that add some pizazz to your home kitchen as well as those professional bakeries and restaurants.

Be it bean, extract, paste or powder, the taste of vanilla is assured to enhance just about anything it is added to. What’s more, vanilla beans, particularly those Madagascan Bourbons, offer a natural ingredient free of artificial preservatives, sweeteners and flavors.

Looking for Authentic Italian Recipes and Gourmet Italian Food? Check Olive Nation for healthy foods for you and your family. Sarah Neil enthuastic about recipes feature vanilla. Check out these fabulous Authentic Italian Reciepies  to make using vanilla beans.



View all articles by Sarah Neil

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