Tahitensis vanilla pods from Papua New Guinea
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Do you know the differences between the types of vanilla?
If you think you can simply buy vanilla in the supermarket and that there is only one variety, you are in for a pleasant surprise. Vanilla and pepper come in many types. But don't worry, we'll be happy to help you get an overview.
Vanilla and pepper come from different parts of the world, which is reflected in their names and flavors. There are three well-known varieties in top gastronomy:
- The Tahitian vanilla from the South Sea island of Tahiti
- The Bourbon vanilla from Madagascar
- The Tahitensis vanilla from Papua New Guinea
You can also get bourbon vanilla powder from us.
What is Tahitensis Vanilla?
Tahitensis Vanilla is the fermented capsule fruits of orchids of the genus Vanilla Tahitensis that grow in Papua New Guinea. The island of Papua New Guinea is the third-largest island nation in the world. The orchid plant Vanilla Planifolia, which is the origin of Bourbon vanilla, originally comes from Mexico. At the end of the 16th century, Spanish sailors brought them to Europe, where they quickly established themselves as a sought-after spice. Today, people like to use it to prepare aromatic drinking chocolate and later also to flavor tobacco.
In the 19th century, the French and Dutch brought this orchid plant to their colonies. The French developed a method on the island of Réunion around 1840 to fertilize the flowers of this orchid species Manuel. The first bourbon vanilla pods were born.
How do you make Tahitensis vanilla pods?
The production of vanilla is very time-consuming. It takes three years for the Vanilla-Tahitensis orchid to produce its first flowers, from which vanilla pods can grow after fertilization. From the flower's fertilization to the pod, it again takes a little over a year. The entire manufacturing process is entirely handcrafted.
An orchid flower only blooms for 48 hours and then dies. Manual pollination can only take place during this time. To do this, they carefully open the height with a bamboo tool and, without crushing the flower, press the stigma and stamens of the individual flower onto one another. From now on, the bean needs between 4-9 months until the vanilla pods are ready to be harvested. You can recognize a ripe vanilla bean because its tip changes from green to yellow but is still absolutely odorless. Only during the subsequent processing process does the pod develop its seductive perfume.
Immediately after the harvest, the unripe vanilla pods take a water bath for 2-3 minutes at 70 ° C. Hot water could destroy the capsules, and you would lose the crop.
Then they are wrapped in blankets for 2-3 days and stored in wooden boxes, where fermentation begins, and the aroma-giving vanillin begins to form. They are now placed in the sun for five weeks to dry for 2-3 hours a day and then wrapped in towels again to sweat.
Storage of Tahitensis Vanilla
Please store your fresh vanilla pods in an airtight container (glasses are best). Also, please keep them in the dark place like your pantry or a dark closet. Protect them from heat and not cool the pods either. Otherwise, they can start to go moldy. After you have removed the pods' pulp, you can put the remaining pods in sugar or salt and thus make delicious vanilla sugar or vanilla salt.