Vanilla is native to the humid tropical forests of the eastern coast of Mexico, pollination in nature and in regions of origin is carried out thanks to the insects of the genus Melipona, a genus of stingless bees.
The first artificial pollination was carried out in 1836 in the Botanical Garden of Liege by the Belgian naturalist Charles Morren. In 1841, a 12 years old slave from Bourbon, Edmond Albius, developed in the island of Bourbon (La Reunion) the practical procedure that is still used.
The farmers of La Réunion in 1880 introduced the cultivation of vanilla in Madagascar. In a few years, Madagascar became the world's top producer for both the quantity and the excellent quality. Today impollination is still carried out manually from flower to flower, the procedure used is the same one who discovered it (Edmond Albius). It needs to be performed early in the morning (the flowers have a short life of the order of a few hours early in the day) is a long and delicate process that the farmers of Madagascar repeated for generations.
The transformation from odourless pods in a scented spice requires thorough and methodical preparation. They are thermally shocked in hot water for a few minutes, this stops the life of the pods "killing", followed by a series of operations, fermentation and drying in the sun that last for several months before getting a commercial vanilla bean.
Vanillin is the main aromatic molecule in natural vanilla, the vanilla seeds contain it in a range of 1,5 - 4%. It is a substance that has been created artificially for the first time in 1874 by the German chemist Wilhelm Haarmann. The vanillin is a synthetic compound at low cost, is available commercially in the form of white or yellowish crystals or as a liquid extract.
WHY USE MADAGASCAR BOURBON VANILLA
Vanilla of Madagascar is among the most prized in the world, its aroma is a collection of dozens of natural substances, the result of a long and delicate process of hand pollination and treatment of the pods, giving the cuisine a large bouquet of aromas, elegant never cloying or "fake" as it often happens with the synthetic vanillin.
NatureMadagascar offers you two variants selected from the best local producers:
Vanilla Bourbon grade AAA best quality, characterized by a strong hydration, low acidity, rich in Vanilline and essential oils, the pods are very long, suitable for preparing ethnic dishes where in addition to the aroma you also want to get a great appearance, it's suitable for all uses and particularly for pastry, ice cream and all preparations based on dairy products.
Vanilla Bourbon grade B less hydrated with a slightly higher degree of acidity, however, very fragrant, ideal for the preparation of extracts and liquors, has a great value for money and can be stored easily for long.