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What is vanilla

25 mayo, 2021

Its name is the exact description of the fruit, thin and long pod. The vanilla It is the fruit of a plant of the same name, from the orchid family, a climbing shrub, originally from Mexico, it was brought to Europe by Hernán Cortés. Today it is cultivated in Madagascar, the Antilles, the Comoros, Reunion, Indonesia, Polynesia and the Antilles, although the most appreciated is still that of Mexico

The pods, full of seeds, are they collect just ripe, soaked in boiling water, dried and they are left in the sun, always protected by a roof. They are left to dry to a dark brown color.

From this point, and depending on the type of producer, two processes can be carried out, the most natural is to keep them in trunks during 7 monthsIn the second most industrialized, they are covered with a frost of vanillin crystals, a substance that gives vanilla more aroma and more flavor.


Depending on the appearance of the pods, the different classes can be distinguished:

  • The fine vanilla: With a long pod between 20 and 30 centimeters, black and frosty, very aromatic.
  • The woody vanilla: 13 to 20 centimeters, reddish-brown in color, dry and matte, slightly frosted.
  • The vanillon: 10 to 12 centimeters, pod flattened, brown and soft, almost always open and rarely frosted, with a stronger odor and a little acrid.
  • India: Yellowish in color, from the Indies, with very little aroma.

The ways of marketing commercialization there are several. On sheath, presented in jars inside glass tubes or in sachets. On dust, they pack the crushed dried fruit, dark brown, dry and fine, sometimes pure and other times sugary. On abstract, liquid or dry, is obtained by maceration in alcohol, followed by percolation or infusion in a sugar syrup, concentrated in various ways and sold in small bottles. What vanilla sugar, mixing sucrose with 10% (minimum) of its weight with dry extract.

The vanilla it is used as a flavoring, especially in confectionery, chocolate and pastry, in creams, sponge cake, ice cream, compotes, poached fruits and kitchen sweets. It is also used in the distillery and as an aromatizer for mulled wine, punch, chocolate or sangria.

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