There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about the delicious vanilla beans we all love so much. I hope this information helps fuel your vanilla addiction just as much as it has mine! Join the new WAVE of Vanilla Products!
Most vanilla beans available today are from Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti. They come from a vanilla orchid plant. Each country's vanilla has its own flavor profile as well as specific visual distinction when it comes to the beans. Much like coffee, chocolate, and wine, vanilla is a complex flavor that can be paired with almost anything!
I order the vanilla beans through various vendors in countries around the globe. I order a variety of other spices as well! Our suppliers are so kind and many of them are working with their government officials to use the profits from their vanilla crops to fund schools, orphanages, hospitals, and so many more very necessary privileges we take advantage of every day. I've learned the stories of these people, their families, and their communities/villages (with the help of a translator at times). It's been a rewarding experience just to create this little extract adventure -I'm happy to have you along on the ride with me! I hope you enjoy the products we release soon!
I work with a variety of suppliers from each of the locations above. Our main supplier is based in Madagascar. Each of these farmers have their own process of "curing" the vanilla beans -whether they do the Mexican-derived process or the Bourbon Islands-derived process is usually based entirely on their personal preference/ trial and error. Check out our blog later for updates on what the difference in curing methods is and how we find our suppliers!
After we receive our vanilla beans from the suppliers, we dip them in a gluten free vodka if their destiny is to create extract (which, it usually is here!) This is also the best way to store vanilla beans! The alcohol kills any bacteria or mold that may grow if they were kept at room temp or refrigerated. If the beans are destined for other activities, we soak for 2-3 days before removing the beans and slicing, drying, and making a powder with them. We then use the powder as our main flavoring ingredient in all of our gifts! Nothing but good old natural vanilla bean pods!
All of our extracts "steep" for at least 12 months to ensure the strong delicious flavor of the pods is extracted into the alcohol. Patience makes the vanilla grow stronger! The longer the beans sit in the alcohol, the stronger it is! This is why we have "double fold" and "triple fold" extracts available -it's twice as many vanilla beans in the same amount of alcohol. Super strength vanilla goodness for those desserts where you just want to get smacked by the flavor, but also don't want to wait for it that long!
Once our vanilla is at its finest flavoring point, we strain and remove beans from the extract if necessary. We then bottle into various sizes and begin our packaging process! Sweet Caroline's Vanilla Extract is our first to bottle since it's the simple classic we all know and love. We heat seal every cover to guarantee no tampering when en route to your kitchen!
To create our "dirty" extract line, we use the seeds from inside the vanilla bean pod to muddy up the look and give you that perfectly speckled look! We use a variety of different pods to give you the best flavor profiles around!
We will be releasing a blog once a week beginning in January 2021. This will give you insights to when our products will be available as well as a whole treasure trove of vanilla facts! Come back for more soon!