Whole Beans

Organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans

Cultivated and cured on the Bourbon Island of Madagascar, these premium, certified organic vanilla beans are hand-selected for their freshness and rich fragrance. The full, sweet, creamy and mellow flavor with velvety after-tones is long-lasting and found in both the bean and the seeds. The vanilla seeds add gourmet visual delight to a variety of applications, from cooking to baking as well as cold and frozen desserts.

Whole Beans

Organic Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans

Cultivated and cured on the Bourbon Island of Madagascar, these premium, certified organic vanilla beans are hand-selected for their freshness and rich fragrance. The full, sweet, creamy and mellow flavor with velvety after-tones is long-lasting and found in both the bean and the seeds. The vanilla seeds add gourmet visual delight to a variety of applications, from cooking to baking as well as cold and frozen desserts.

Quantity sizes beans
  • 2
  • Professionals
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  • Sweet ideas: crème anglaise, crème brûlée, custards, puddings, yogurt, gelato, ice cream
  • Savory ideas: glazes for poultry, seafood and pork
  • Beverage ideas: sangria, cream soda floats, amaretto sour
  • Other ideas: natural car deodorizer
  • Chef’s notes: To scrape a vanilla bean, start from the center, cutting a slit with the tip of a sharp knife. Spread the bean apart to expose the seeds and scrape with the dull side of the knife. Scrape the sticky seeds off the side of the knife. Repeat with the other side of the bean. Delicious vanilla flavor is found in both the bean and the seeds, so try to use both. As long as the bean still possesses its characteristic aroma and is moist and pliable, you can rinse, dry and use it again.

Located just east of the southern portion of Africa, the area known as the Bourbon Islands includes the islands of Réunion, Madagascar, Mauritius, Comoro and Seychelles. Hence, when we refer to Madagascar Bourbon, we’re referring to the region and not to the liquor.

Around 1793, a vanilla vine was smuggled from Mexico to the Bourbon Island of Réunion. For almost 50 years after its arrival at Réunion, the growth and production of vanilla was difficult. The vines grew successfully with beautiful blossoms but seldom resulted in vanilla pods. Without the Melipona bee, vanilla’s indigenous pollinator in Mexico, the flowers were only occasionally pollinated by local insects.

It wasn’t until 1836 that Charles Morren, a Belgian botanist, discovered the link between the bee and the plant’s pollination. In 1841, Edmond Albius of Réunion developed an efficient method for fertilizing vanilla flowers by hand.

Eventually, hand pollination was perfected on a commercial scale. Growers could choose the best flowers and properly space them out on the vine, resulting in a healthier and higher quality vanilla pod. Combined with the hot, humid climate and rich soil, hand pollination by the country’s skilled and patient farmers has enabled Madagascar to become the world’s top vanilla producer in both quantity and quality.

In Madagascar, the curing process is similar to that of Mexico with one slight difference; the farmers initiate the curing process by immersing the green vanilla beans in hot water for a short time. The farmers then store the beans in sweat boxes before beginning the routine of spreading beans in the sun and packing them away at night. This unique curing process, along with the rich soil and growing conditions, helps create the unique, rich, and highly complex flavor profile Madagascar vanilla is known for.

Organic Vanilla Beans

1 whole vanilla bean = 1 tablespoon vanilla extract = 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste = 1 tablespoon vanilla powder

What Chefs Have to Say

About our products

"It’s no secret, both for cooking and baking, always use the best ingredients. What’s the point of investing time to create something and use average ingredients? Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Bean Paste are my favorites, as well as the Lemon Extract. I like using the Vanilla Bean Paste, as it is the closest to using fresh vanilla pods with all the glorious little seeds, and the consistency doesn’t interfere with the recipes.”

Eric lanlard UK Chef, TV Host, Master Pâtissier and Cookbook Author