Vanilla beans are a popular ingredient in cooking and baking, known for their sweet and aromatic flavor. However, have you ever noticed the white crystals that sometimes appear on the surface of vanilla beans? While it might look like mold, these crystals are actually a sign of high-quality vanilla beans.
What are these white crystals?
The white crystals that appear on vanilla beans are a natural occurrence and are often called "vanilla frost" or "vanilla bloom." These crystals are made up of vanillin, the compound responsible for the distinct vanilla flavor. The vanillin in the beans can crystallize when exposed to air or moisture, resulting in the appearance of these beautiful crystals.
Why is it a sign of high-quality vanilla beans?
The presence of these white crystals is actually a sign of high-quality vanilla beans. The crystals indicate that the beans have a high vanillin content, which is a measure of their quality. Vanillin is the main flavor compound in vanilla beans, and the more of it that is present, the better the flavor of the vanilla.
Mistaking vanilla frost for mold
Although these crystals are a good sign, many people mistake them for mold and throw away perfectly good vanilla beans. This is a common mistake, especially if you're not familiar with the appearance of vanilla frost. It's important to note that mold on vanilla beans is rare, and when it does occur, it is usually a result of improper storage.
How to store vanilla beans
To ensure the best quality and flavor of your vanilla beans, it's important to store them properly. Store your vanilla beans in an airtight container in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight or heat. This will help prevent the vanillin from crystallizing and keep the beans fresh for longer.
The white crystals that appear on vanilla beans are a natural occurrence and a sign of high-quality beans. These crystals are not mold, but rather a sign that the beans are rich in vanillin, the main flavor compound in vanilla. To enjoy the best quality and flavor from your vanilla beans, store them properly in a cool, dark place. Now that you know the difference between vanilla frost and mold, you can confidently use your vanilla beans in your favorite recipes!
Try our award-winning bourbon and tahitian vanilla beans today!
Gourmet (Grade) Bourbon Vanilla Beans