The Vanilla pod…not so vanilla after all!

The eagle-eyed observers amongst you will have noticed the vanilla pods included in our French Mille Feuille, Madeleine, and for a limited time, our Easter Bunny Cake Kit. For such a universally well-loved flavour, it’s amazing that so many people wouldn’t recognise the humble vanilla bean if it was shown to them!

And that’s because it remains one of the world’s most valuable spices, second only to saffron in its cost. Vanilla orchids thrive in specific tropical regions with the right combination of climate, soil, and altitude. The reason why it is so valuable, apart from the limited geographic distribution, is because the vanilla flower is pollinated by hand. This makes vanilla one of the most labour-intensive crops in the world to cultivate.

We use vanilla in its raw form, as a vanilla pod. There are two types of vanilla pods that we use; (1) the Madagascan species known as vanilla planifolia and (2) the Indonesian species known as vanilla tahitensis. They are distinct, with the Madagascan variety providing sweet and creamy notes, compared to the aniseed and liquorice aroma of the Indonesian pod.

A lot of baking companies will use synthetic, or artificial vanilla, in their products because they are cheaper than the real thing. However, the depth of flavour and aroma of real vanilla cannot be matched – and quality is something that we’ll never compromise on!

Both of the vanilla varieties we use are sourced via our trusted suppliers, Vanilla Mart, a UK-based company who are experts in all things vanilla. They not only supply pods, but also vanilla extract, pastes, powder, seeds and sugar to home bakers and manufacturers up and down the country. So next time you need the unmistakeable flavour of vanilla in your creation, you know where to go!

Join the Vanilla Mart and Mon Dessert competition running from 4th March to 11th March 2024 for a chance to win two prizes a gift tin recipe kit containing bakeware, a keepsake tin, and ingredients including a Vanilla Mart vanilla pod and as well as a Ugandan and Indonesian pod the prizes await two lucky winners who enter via our Instagram page. For those that don’t win Mon Dessert are still offering 10% off Mon dessert product upon signing up to their mailing list.


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