Vanilla, the flavor we all know and love, comes in two main varieties: Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla tahitensis. While they may seem similar at first glance, these two types of vanilla have distinct differences that set them apart.
Vanilla planifolia, also known as Bourbon or Madagascar vanilla, is the most commonly used type of vanilla in the world. This variety of vanilla is known for its rich, creamy, and sweet flavor, making it the perfect choice for baking and cooking. Its beans grow best in warm and humid climates, and the majority of the world's supply of Bourbon vanilla comes from Madagascar.
On the other hand, Vanilla tahitensis, also known as Tahitian vanilla, is a unique and exotic variety of vanilla that is native to French Polynesia. Unlike Vanilla planifolia, Tahitian vanilla is known for its lighter, fruitier flavor with notes of cherry, anise, and even a hint of licorice. This variety of vanilla is often used in desserts and baked goods, but it is also versatile enough to be used in savory dishes. The beans of Vanilla tahitensis are larger and plumper than those of Vanilla planifolia, and they have a slightly more fragrant aroma.
When it comes to growing and harvesting, Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla tahitensis have different requirements. Vanilla planifolia requires hand-pollination, which makes the process of growing it much more labor-intensive. On the other hand, Vanilla tahitensis is self-pollinating and requires less manual labor, making it a more cost-effective option.
In conclusion, whether you prefer the rich and creamy flavor of Vanilla planifolia or the light and fruity notes of Vanilla tahitensis, both varieties of vanilla have their own unique qualities that make them stand out. Next time you're baking or cooking, why not try using both varieties and see how they complement each other? We guarantee that you won't be disappointed!
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Gourmet (Grade A) Tahitian Vanilla Beans
Gourmet (Grade A) Bourbon Vanilla Beans