Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Vanilla is highly valuable for its flavor.

Vanilla beans are a bit long capsular size fruits. The vanilla beans, when the color changes from green to yellow are harvested in the early morning, spread on woolen blankets in the sun all morning(up to five hours), and then by midday are wrapped in the blankets for fermentation. They are stored overnight in metal-lined, air-tight boxes to sweat. This sweating process continues for several weeks, until a substance in the vanilla bean, a glucoside, is changed into vanillin. Other methods of sweating includes the use of warm water scalding and ovens.

The fermented product vanillin is the aromatic phenolic compound which produces the characteristic aroma and flavor of vanilla.

The vanilla extract mixed with sugar and made into a powder called vanilla sugar.

The essential oils of vanilla and vanillin are sometimes used in aromatherapy.