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Madagascar Vanilla Bean
Although the fragrant climbing orchid that produces vanilla beans is native to Mexico, Madagascar Vanilla Beans set the standard of excellence for vanilla flavor. Madagascar is the world's fourth largest island at just over 1,000 miles long and 350 miles wide, and is located 250 miles off the eastern coast of Africa. This island is crisscrossed by no fewer than six micro-climates and among these climates is the ideal environment for growing vanilla beans.
The long, narrow seedpods that become vanilla beans are carefully cut from the vine while green and cured by sweating under blankets. This process gives them both their dark, black color and their sweet, aromatic flavor.
Vanilla beans are most commonly used in baking, and they provide a much stronger vanilla flavoring than vanilla extract.
To use the bean, split it down the middle and scrape the seeds into whatever you are making. The interior seed mass contains the majority of the flavor, but the exterior of the pod does contain some flavor. When using vanilla beans in sauces, custards or ice creams, steep the bean in the liquid as well. Half a bean is sufficient for most single recipes.
Package contains 2 whole vanilla beans.