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Vanilla Beans

The vanilla beans are not allowed to fully ripen as this will lead to splitting of the vanilla beans. Hand harvesting is done four to six months after the fruit appears on the vanilla orchids. Vanilla orchids take nearly 3 years to flower. The vanilla flowers are open for a one month period. During this time these orchid flowers are hand pollinated. Approximately 1500 flowers can be pollinated by an efficient person during the time the vanilla flowers are open. The vanilla orchid can grow up to 350 feet height but is trimmed and kept to the height to which workers will be able to reach the flowers.

The vanilla beans when ripe start to become yellow in colour. The vanilla beans are 5 to 10 inches long. There will be around 100 pods per plant. The bean pods are odourless till they are dried and cured. The vanilla beans or pods are dried using hot water, sun and other artificial drying methods. This will take a long time as the vanilla beans have to develop the aroma after drying. The vanilla beans are then left to develop the distinctive aroma to the fullest extent possible. This curing process gives the vanilla beans the wonderful flavour that we enjoy in our cakes and ice creams.

The vanilla beans are sorted by hand and then allowed to dry such that only 20 % of the weight of the vanilla beans remains. Some places from where we get the vanilla beans are Madagascar, Tahiti, Mauritius, Indonesia and Uganda. The pods have many small seeds that are responsible for the vanilla flavour. The more the number of seeds in the vanilla bean pods the better is the vanilla flavour from the vanilla beans. Nearly 20 % to 30 % moisture is left after the curing process in the vanilla beans. Thus curing is a time consuming process.

In Indonesia they use ovens to cure the vanilla beans. This results in fairly good quality vanilla beans. In Madagascar they are strict about natural curing for the vanilla beans. It takes around 8 months for the vanilla beans to be dried and cured. Madagascar vanilla is by far superior to the vanilla that comes from Indonesia.

Vanilla is used in ice-creams, cakes, cheese cakes, biscuits, perfumes and lip balms. The food industry and the cosmetic industry have a great demand for the expensive vanilla beans. Vanilla is the fruit from an orchid plant that grows like a bean pod. There are more than 100 varieties of vanilla plants and each produces a different strength of vanilla. The Vanilla planifolia is the variety from which most of the vanilla is produced.

You can buy Vanilla from PMRC Corporation. Order online for the vanilla and we will get it drop shipped to you at any address through out the world. Enjoy baking cakes, making ice creams flavoured with vanilla and also cookies for your evening tea! Email at

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