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(Vanilla Bean Facts)
Premium Vanilla Beans
Silver Cloud offers the finest quality gourmet vanilla beans. Our beans can be
purchased in vacuum sealed pouches of 3 beans for $6.00.. Since Silver
Cloud Estates grows all the vanilla beans we sell, our prices are usually much
lower than other companies. We are so confident you will love the quality of our
beans, we offer a money back guarantee. If your not completely satisfied, you
can return the beans for a full refund.
One important measure of vanilla bean quality is the length of the bean. Because
of the estates' ideal growing conditions, our beans are 7 - 10 inches long.
Silver Cloud's Vanilla Beans are also very high in vanillin, typically much
higher than the best beans from Madagascar, Papua New Guinea or Tahiti.
Vanillin, which is naturally occurring in the beans, gives vanilla much of its
flavor. We believe, due to their length and high vanillin content, Silver Clouds
Estate grown beans are superior to the best premium or super long beans sold by
Vanilla Extract, Pure
Only the finest premium vanilla beans are used to make Silver Cloud's Pure
Vanilla Extract. Silver Cloud's extract has a rich flavor with sweet, creamy
undertones and a slightly fruity top note. Since it is high in vanillin
(naturally occurring in vanilla beans), it has more flavor and greater impact
when used in ice cream, baked goods and beverages. Once you try Silver Cloud's
Pure Vanilla Extract, we feel you will never purchase another brand.
Silver Cloud's Pure Vanilla Extract is manufactured in accordance with the U.S.
standard of identity for pure vanilla extract and contains vanilla bean
extractives, alcohol and water. We do not add any sugar, glycerin or corn syrup
and our product is gluten free! We offer our Pure Vanilla Extract in 4 and 8
ounce glass bottles with a distinctive red wax seal. Quarts and gallons are
available too. Silver Cloud's Pure Vanilla Extract makes a great gift for
friends and family who like to cook and bake.
Vanilla Extract 4 0z bottle $9.75
Vanilla Extract 8 0z bottle $14.95
Vanilla Bean Paste
Silver Cloud's natural Vanilla Bean Paste is a fast and easy way to add vanilla
bean flavor, with the appearance of seeds, to your cooking and baking. Many
professional chefs prefer to use vanilla bean paste, since it eliminates the
time consuming process of splitting and scraping the seeds from the beans. One
tablespoon of paste has the equivalent flavor to a whole vanilla bean.
SilverCloud's rich, concentrated vanilla bean paste can be used in lieu of pure
vanilla extract in puddings, cakes, cookies, ice cream or anywhere the flavor
and appearance of vanilla beans is desired.
Using vanilla bean paste is also cost effective. One four fluid ounce jar
contains approximately twelve tablespoons of paste, which is equivalent to
twelve whole vanilla beans at a fraction of the cost.
Silver Cloud's Vanilla Bean Paste contains Sugar, Water, Pure Vanilla Extract
3-Fold, Vanilla Bean Seeds and Gum Tragacanth (a natural thickener used to keep
the vanilla seeds in suspension). Since we use a three fold pure vanilla extract
in our paste, it is stronger and has a richer flavor than other vanilla bean
pastes on the market. It is also gluten-free. Try our paste just once and we
feel you will never purchase any other brand. 4 oz size $10.95
History of Vanilla
Vanilla beans, or pods, are the fruit of the orchid Vanilla planifolia, which is
native to the tropical forest of Mexico. In the wild vanilla grows as a thick,
green vine up trees and produces clusters of trumpet shaped, celadon colored
flowers. These delicate, small flowers usually bloom for just one day and can
only be pollinated by the small Melipona bee. If the flowers are not pollinated
they drop to the ground and no vanilla beans are produced.
The ancient Totonaco Indians of Southeastern Mexico were the first people to
discover the secret of vanilla. They believed vanilla was a food of the Gods.
When the Aztecs conquered the Totonaco, they adopted many of their beliefs. In
1518, the Spanish conquistadores, led by Herman Cortez, came to Mexico and
observed the Aztec emperor, Montezuma, drinking "Choclatl". This beverage of
ground cocoa and corn was flavored with "Tlilxochitl" (cured vanilla beans) and
Cortez fell in love with Cholatl's rich flavor and aroma and introduced both
cocoa and vanilla to Spain. Spanish chefs started making "Vainilla" (little
sheath) flavored chocolate and for 100 years it was consumed by nobility and the
very rich. Vainilla was later anglicized to vanilla.
Until the later part of the 18th century, Mexico was the sole producer of
vanilla. While attempts were made to cultivate the vines in other tropical parts
of the world, because the secret of the Melipona bee was not known, the vines
did not produce beans.
In early 1800's the French took cuttings from Mexico to Reunion Island, which
was then known as the Ile de Bourbon (the surname of the Kings of France). The
plants flourished and flowered, but with no Melipona bees on the island, no
beans were produced.
In 1837 the Belgian botanist Morren succeeded in artificially pollinating the
vanilla flower. On Reunion Morren's process was attempted, but failed. It was
not until 1841 that a 12 year old slave by the name of Edmond Albius discovered
the correct technique of hand pollinating the flowers. Vanilla was soon taken to
the neighboring French possessions of Madagascar, Comoro and Santa Maria. By
1898 about 200 tons of Vanilla beans a year were being produced by these
Today, vanilla is grown in Madagascar, the Comoro and Reunion Islands, India,
Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Mexico. Vanilla is also cultivated in
Tahiti. The Vanilla planifolia vines planted in Tahiti, however
The flavor of vanilla, like coffee and wine, is very complex and is a product of
its environment. The quality of vanilla depends on the climate, soil and curing
techniques. Depending on where vanilla is grown and how it is cured, the flavor
of the beans and extract produced from them varies.
The term " Bourbon " originally referred to vanilla beans grown on Madagascar,
Reunion and the Comoros Islands. Today, the term is used to describe Vanilla
planifolia beans cultivated in other parts of the world including Uganda and
India. When grown in other parts of the world, the beans are most accurately
described as " Bourbon Type ".
The extract made from Bourbon vanilla beans has a fruity, sweet creamy, hay-like
aroma with vanillin and phenolic undertones. It is generally stronger in flavor
than the extract produced from other origins.
Mexican vanilla is also Vanilla planifolia . The extract produced from Mexican
beans has a unique flavor and aroma. It is slightly more spicy and woody in
flavor and has less of the vanillin undertones found in "bourbon" vanilla.
Unfortunately, much of the vanilla extract produced in Mexico is adulterated
with artificial vanillin, ethyl vanillin and other artificial flavor
ingredients. Visitors to Mexico often believe they are buying Pure Vanilla
Extract at great prices when all they are getting is a cheap imitation product
colored with caramel color.
The beans of Vanilla tahitensis , have a unique flavor and aroma, which is
floral and fruity. The extract made from these beans is sweet and creamy with
notes of cherries and prunes. Tahitian Vanilla Extract typically has a more
delicate flavor than Bourbon Vanilla Extract.
The beans grown in Papua New Guinea and other parts of Indonesia are Vanilla
planifolia . Indonesian beans, however, due to the climate, soil conditions and
how they are cured, often have a unique flavor and aroma, which is best
described as slightly smoky. Most of the beans produced in Indonesia are
purchased by large industrial users of vanilla and blended with vanilla from
Vanilla was first planted at Silver Cloud in 2000 from cuttings taken from
Madagascar. Growing vanilla is extremely labor intensive and it takes up to five
years for a vine to mature and bear fruit. All the cultivation, pollination and
harvesting of vanilla needs to be done by hand. Today, there are approximately
300,000 Vanilla planifolia vines on the estate. Luckily, all the vines do not
flower at once, but each plant is checked everyday when flowering begins in
Vanilla vines are trained on trees and carefully pruned. The flowers are
pollinated using a bamboo splinter. Not all the flowers on a vine are
pollinated. This is done to conserve the plant's energy and to focus it in fewer
beans. In about 10 weeks the flowers develop into long green beans.
Due to the almost perfect climate and the rich soil, Silver Cloud's vanilla
beans can reach a length of 12 inches, though 7 to 10 inch beans are more
typical. The green beans, which are almost tasteless and odorless, are hand
picked and blanched using boiling water. This stops further vegetative
development and initiates the enzymatic reaction which is responsible for
vanilla's characteristic flavor and aroma.
The vanilla beans are then carefully dried in the sun during the day and wrapped
in blankets and "sweated" at night. This curing process is repeated until the
beans are properly cured, which can take anywhere from 4-6 months. As they cure,
the beans slowly develop a dark mahogany color and characteristic vanilla
flavor. Silver Cloud's beans also develop a crystalline substance on the surface
of the beans. This is natural vanillin which is the main flavor component found
in vanilla beans. While our beans are higher in natural vanillin than beans from
Madagascar, Papua New Guinea and Tahiti, vanillin isn't the only indicator of
quality in Vanilla. Well over 100 other flavor components have been identified
in vanilla and all of them contribute to its characteristic flavor and aroma.