Vanilla Facts & Tips


Vanilla Beans should NOT be refrigerated. Store them sealed in a cool, dry, dark place at
ROOM TEMPERATURE. After some time the beans may dry out. This is a normal change.
Reconstitute them by soaking them in a liquid to be used in your recipe.


There are 110 varieties of vanilla only two varieties are used commercially, Bourbon and
Tahitian vanilla:
Tahitian vanilla is the common name for Vanilla Tahitensis. This variety originates from
Bourbon plant stock taken to Tahiti, Vanilla Tahitensis mutated in the wild and now
regarded as a different species. It's appearance is smaller and it's flavor is
considerably different than Bourbon vanilla. Tahitian vanilla is sweet and fruity and
contains less natural vanillin. It has a floral fragrance and the bean is fatter and
moister than Bourbon vanilla.
Bourbon vanilla:
Bourbon vanilla is the common name for Vanilla Planifolia. Vanilla Planifolia
originates from Mexico. Bourbon vanilla cuttings were taken from Mexico to Reunion
Island 1000 miles east of the coast of Africa in the 1800's and grown by the French on
large plantations. Reunion was then known as the Ile de Bourbon from which this
variety takes its name.

Bourbon vanilla has the familiar vanilla flavor that we have come to savor in desserts
and in ice cream.

Vanilla is one of the world's most labor intensive crops, second only to saffron.
This explains why vanilla is so expensive. Tahitian vanilla has always been more
expensive than Bourbon vanilla, especially now, as it is less readily available.

Want to know more?  Check out our guide to Vanilla History.