Our bamboo tubes of vanilla are a bit dry and stiff, but still extraordinarily fragrant, perfect for vanilla extract, vanilla sugar, homemade vanilla powder or for infusing in cream for outta-this-world homemade ice cream or whipped cream.
Also available as vanilla powder and vanilla extract kits.
Our Nyanza Vanilla is grown in the hills around Nyanza (aka Lake Victoria) in Tanzania, where the altitude, rich soil and temperate climate produce an especially rich, sweet vanilla.
This Grade A Nyanza Vanilla comes in a bamboo tube or plastic container with an inner pouch or pouches that keep the vanilla pods fresh. Cut the pods open and scrape the seeds into custards, ice cream or other rich desserts (use the empty pods for vanilla sugar!). Or infuse them with alcohol of your choice for homemade extract.
- Split, scrape and add to your ice cream base, fruit jams or puddings before cooking
- Drop a vanilla pod into your favorite spirit, then add sugar and instant coffee to make a homemade Tia Maria
- Bury spent pods in sugar to make vanilla sugar
Vanilla is the fruit of a flowering vine. It takes as long as a decade for a vine to begin to produce fruit, and the white orchid flowers must be pollinated by hand. The pods grow in small bunches like bananas, and they take 6-9 months to ripen. After harvesting, they're cured in wooden boxes, where they turn from green to brown and develop their characteristic rich, complex aroma.
In a climate and terroir similar to that of Madagascar, they develop a deep, rich aroma and flavor. We prefer the vine-ripened pods (standard pods are often picked slightly underripe as a shortcut) for their stronger, sweeter, more concentrated flavor.
In the photos, you can see the nearly-ripe vanilla pods, the vanilla flower, and the vanilla vines.