Tahitian Vanilla from French Polynesia
Tahitian Vanilla is the most expensive pod in the world. The production is entirely made by hand and very labor-intensive. It is cultivated on the South Sea island of Tahiti, and there is only a small amount of around 15 tons per year for the entire world market.
These unique pods of the Tahitenis Vanilla have an astonishingly different aroma profile than the bourbon pods. They taste surprisingly floral, musky, and at the same time, fruity like cherries and plums. Additionally, they are thicker and fleshier, therefore, more productive than the Bourbon pods. Today, it counts as its type of Vanilla, and you can find it mainly in star gastronomy or among amateur chefs. They use their surprising aroma profile to give their new culinary creations a surprise effect.
What do I use the Tahitian vanilla pods for?
The Tahitian vanilla pods are suitable for all desserts. You can use it to make ice cream, panna cotta, vanilla sauce, and hearty dishes.
What does the Tahitian Vanilla taste like?
The taste of Tahiti vanilla is exceptionally complex. It combines a fruity sweetness of cherries and plums with spicy anise and musk notes. It smells sensual & exotic. Their aroma harmonizes not only in desserts but also with hearty dishes. It differs from bourbon vanilla, which has a sweet, cocoa-like, and at the same time, robust and complex aroma.
What is Vanilla?
Vanilla beans are the fruit of an orchid; the genus Vanilla is also the only fruiting orchid in the Orchidaceae family. The Vanilla planifolia also has its origin in Mesoamerica - Mexico. Here, the capsule fruit naturally grows through the fertilization of the Melipona bee native to the region.
In the 19th century, the Dutch and French brought the vanilla plants to their colonies and tried to produce vanilla beans. It was not until around 1840 that the orchid flowers were pollinated by hand in the French territory of Réunion (Bourbon Island). So it was finally possible to cultivate the Vanilla in other tropical countries.
Today, Madagascar and the island of Bourbon produce around 80 percent of the Vanilla, which can be called Bourbon Vanilla.
What is the difference between Tahitian Vanilla and other varieties?
The Tahitian Vanilla, also Tahitensis Vanilla, is a hybrid, so it was created from two types, namely the Vanilla Aromatica and Vanilla Fragrans. It has a unique taste. It also contains less vanillin than the Vanilla Planifolia and is therefore of no interest to many customers on the world market. The biggest buyers of vanilla sticks are the perfume industry, and they need vanillin.
Why is the Tahitian Vanilla Bean so much more expensive than others?
Not only is the production very labor and time-intensive, but above all, real manual work. Again, there is no natural pollination of the flowers. Each one must be pollinated by hand. Besides, the majority of the pods grow on Taha’a, which is only 35 square miles in size. The harvest is, therefore, meager at 15 tons for the world market.