Tonca beans - Dipteryc odorata - Brazil

ex Shipping
    Delivery time:available to ship
Buy Now
  • Description

Buy Tonka Beans

  • Similar to vanilla in flavor.
  • Used in mango sorbet, pistachio cream, cakes, and ice cream.
  • Tomato soup, game dishes, crème brûlée.

What are Tonka Beans?

Tonka Beans - Dipteryx odorata - from Brazil (Other name Tonca bean). This spice is the seed of a leguminous tree native to the Caribbean and South America and they are obtained by extracting them from Tonkafruits and drying them. But before drying, they undergo a rum bath, which reduces the high coumarin content of the bean.

The fruits are oval, yellow, 10 cm long, resembling a mango with exactly one seed. Their flesh is sticky, tasteless, and has an unpleasant odor. However, the seeds are the fragrant, almond-shaped, dark brown to black Tonka beans, measuring 3-6 cm in length.

What do they look like?

Tonka beans are black to dark brown seeds. They are almond-shaped and measure 3-6 cm in length.

This is the Tonka Bean

What do Tonca beans taste like?

The flavor of a Tonca bean is sweet and reminiscent of vanilla, bitter almond, and woodruff. It is very complex and intense. It is mostly used as a vanilla substitute, although it has a slightly bitter taste in comparison. This, however, gives it its charm and a surprising note.

This product falls under the category of intense spices and should be used sparingly. It also has a high coumarin content, which accounts for the intensity of the spice.

It's better to consume coumarin in small quantities, about 2 mg per kg of food is considered safe. This spice is, in the truest sense, a spice of gourmet chefs; they have practically rediscovered its use in their profession.

How do you use this special spice?

The Tonka bean is a hard seed, much like nutmeg, and is best grated with a spice grater, used in small quantities. For flavoring your culinary creations, a pinch or at most a small knife tip is usually sufficient.

Pairing with Tonka Bean

The Tonka bean goes well with all desserts, whether simply on whipped cream or in cocoa, or in more complex dishes in upscale gastronomy. Today, many desserts by gourmet chefs are refined with Tonka beans, such as mango sorbet, pistachio cream, or fruit compote. It pairs well with sorbet, chocolate, stollen, cakes, cookies, chocolates, but also marzipan.

Furthermore, it enhances a tomato soup or tomato sauce with its unique aroma. Since it is already very intense itself, it also complements intense dishes like game (venison, deer, or wild boar).

Why not try a variation of crème brûlée with this spice? Simply cook a Tonka bean in the milk-cream mixture during the preparation of the cream. This gives the cream an extraordinary aroma. Afterwards, you can remove and dry the Tonka bean. It is good for four more uses of this kind and is sufficiently aromatic.

Storage. It is best to store spices in a cool, dry, airtight container, protected from sunlight.

Perfume Industry. The coumarin content is responsible for the intense scent of this spice, making it highly sought after in the perfume industry for fragrance production.

In Aromatherapy. Due to its warm, sweet scent, which can have calming and relaxing effects, the essential oil is used in aromatherapy. However, it is a strong oil that should always be diluted before applying to the skin or inhaling.

Making Essential Oil: To make Tonka bean oil, you'll need Tonca beans and a base oil like almond oil, jojoba oil, or coconut oil. The beans should be crushed and added to the base oil. Let the mixture sit in a dark place for a few weeks to extract the scent.

  • Diffuser: Add a few drops of oil to an aroma diffuser or fragrance lamp. This will disperse the sweet scent in the room and create a relaxing atmosphere.
  • Massage Oil: Dilute the oil with a base oil and use it for massages. Note that a low concentration is recommended to avoid skin irritation.
  • Bath Additive: Add a few drops of diluted oil to your bathwater to create a relaxing and soothing experience.
  • Aroma Pillow or Potpourri: You can create a homemade potpourri with dried flowers and leaves, and add a few drops of oil.

It is important to always dilute the oil and use it with caution, as it is a strong essential oil. Avoid direct contact with eyes, mucous membranes, and open wounds.

Before using the oil, make sure you do not have any allergic reactions to it. Test the oil on a small patch of skin first to ensure no irritation occurs. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have health concerns, consult a professional in aromatherapy or a doctor before using the oil.

Fun Fact. Due to its vanilla-like taste, Tonca beans, or rather the ingredient coumarin, is also referred to as "Mexican vanilla" as a substitute for the real thing. The use of the plant for food preparation was temporarily banned in Germany from 1981. Since 1991, this ban has existed in a limited form. The use of the Tonka bean is only allowed if the permissible maximum values for coumarin in the prepared food are not exceeded. According to Annex 4 to § 2 (3) of the Flavor Regulation, these maximum limits are currently set at 2 mg per kg. These maximum limits apply to coumarin as a food additive, but not when used as a flavoring agent, such as in perfumes or candles.

Related Products