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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Facts About Vanilla Beans

By: Sarah Neil


Many individuals are acquainted with vanilla extract, which is produced from the vanilla bean. This bean is a product of the orchid plant. There are various types of this bean that is produced by an orchid plant and each one of them is used in different ways, capitalizing on each type of beans best qualities. Each type of bean has a different taste and smell, albeit a subtle difference its a difference nonetheless. It is your decision which particular kind of vanilla beans you require for your recipes because at the close of the day it's your personal choice that should dictate which particular bean is best according to your preferences. However, the Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Bean is actually the most popular when it comes to uses in food.

The vanilla bean is grown by a relatively rare orchid plant and the bean is an extremely popular commodity. Recent advances in internet technology gives people all over the world the opportunity to purchase the orchids luscious fruit regardless of where the plant grows. It allows everyone to experience the unique flavor and aroma that the vanilla bean provides. In fact, the internet allows a regular in-home cook to purchase this wonderful, natural ingredient without the need to locate a physical specialty store, as many general grocery stores fail to carry authentic whole beans. It is true that you can usually find vanilla extract in your local grocery store as well as a few synthetic versions of the unique flavor, but it would be extremely unusual to find the whole bean at your local grocer. The whole thing is edible and there are thousands of recipes that call for use of the seeds as well as the pod.

The pod itself contains extraordinary flavor and can be added as a flavor enhancer in things like hot tea or coffee. And one of the advantages is it's a natural ingredient which is a desired attribute in the current day's market. On the whole, extract is the most widely and commonly used vanilla bean product. Naturally the least costly version of vanilla flavoring that is generally available in the market is an imitation of the real extract. Usually, the kind of extract that you find at the corner shop doesn't come from a vanilla bean and is instead made from synthetic substances. Authentic vanilla extract is known for its dark color and strong aroma and is ideal for cooking or baking.

Use caution when choosing to use imitation vanilla extract because the synthetic versions have less intense flavor and aroma. The taste is a little analogous to real vanilla, but there's a definite after-taste when consuming a pudding or a drink that was prepared with an imitation product, particularly when combined with a cold drink or added to no-bake recipes. Another product made using real vanilla beans is vanilla paste, though many shoppers aren't acquainted with this product. This is a concentrated sort of vanilla extract that comes from its seed and can also be used for vanilla bean recipes. But this kind of paste is generally reserved for commercial kitchens to make any dish more flavorful without adding additional liquid.

There are many sorts of vanilla beans and where they're cultivated has much to do with the way the spice performs when stirred into your recipes. The Indonesian bean can beat heat well and this is the top choice for recipes that are slow cooked. The Bourbon Madagascar variation comes from Madagascar and is fantastically suited for any kind of cooking process, even dishes that are prepared and served cold, which makes it the ideal ingredient for your cupboard.

Finally, vanilla beans can be crushed into a powder that is sometimes used in the US and EU states. It's a fusion of sugar like sucrose and dextrose together with vanilla extracts. But just like extracts, there are synthetic versions of this powder so pay close attention to the label if you purchase it. The powder works best in cold dishes and can also be sprinkled atop desserts or into hot drinks for added sweetness, similar to cinnamon. There's no question that these beans are highly versatile and have many different uses and come in many different forms. Once could even add it to recipes that dont necessarily call for vanilla for a little twist on an old favorite.
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About the Author:
Looking for Authentic Italian Recipes and Gourmet Italian Food? Check Olive Nation for healthy foods for you and your family. Sarah Neil enthuastic about recipes feature vanilla. Check out these fabulous Authentic Italian Reciepies & to make using your homemade vanilla. Read More:

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