Tonka Beans - Dipteryx odorata
(Other names Tonc bean, Tongo beans, Tonko beans, English Tonca bean)
The Tonka bean is the seed of a butterfly flowering plant, the clay cabbage, which is native to the Caribbean and South America. The tonka beans are obtained by stripping them out of the Tonka fruits and drying them. Before they are dried, however, they get a day's bath in Rum, which reduces the high coumarin content of the bean. These Tonka fruits are oval, yellow, 10 cm long and resemble a mango, with exactly one seed. Their pulp is sticky, tasteless and smells bad. The seeds, however, are the soothing, almond-shaped dark brown to black, 3-6 cm long tonka beans.