Fun Facts

Culinary Pleasures

For best results, add our extracts at the end of the cooking process. When baking, cream them with butter.

To taste the delicious differences between Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, Mexican Vanilla and Tahitian Vanilla, make three batches of whipped cream, ice cream or custard and substitute the distinct types of vanilla for each batch. The delicious flavor subtleties of each vanilla will become apparent as you conduct your own taste test.

Outside the Kitchen
A few drops of vanilla in a can of paint will help eliminate the unpleasant odor.

A vanilla bean under your car seat gives a fresh aroma and helps eliminate musty odors.

Vanilla extract is used by veteran fishermen to mask the smell of their hands so the fish won’t detect them.

Production
Vanilla beans are hand-pollinated on family farms.

The curing process, which involves drying the beans in the sun by day and allowing them to sweat in a box at night, can take three to six months. The beans get hot enough in the sun to burn your hand.

Each vanilla flower opens for only one part of one day during the season. If it’s not pollinated on that day, no pod will be produced.

The entire vanilla-cultivation process, from planting to market, can take from five to six years.

In Mexico, vanilla was originally pollinated by a tiny native bee called the Melipona.

Historical
The Spaniards called the plant “vanilla” which means “little scabbard”, or the sheath that covers the blade of a sword or dagger.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700s. While serving as ambassador to King Louis XVI of France, he became familiar with vanilla beans and brought 200 of them back with him when he returned to the United States.

Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, created a sensation when she served vanilla ice cream as a dessert at the second inaugural ball in 1812.

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