Last updated: 16/10/2022

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Vanilla is one of the most popular and at the same time most expensive spices worldwide. Above all, vanilla is known for its unique fragrance and unmistakable taste. The complex fermentation of vanilla, which is extracted from the fruits of a tropical orchid genus called vanilla, explains its expensive price. For this reason, people often resort to synthetically produced vanillin.

From vanilla beans, vanilla powder and vanilla extract to perfumes, creams and fragrances. Vanilla is available in different varieties with multiple functions. Whether you want to spice up your biscuits or are looking for a warm and enveloping scent, vanilla has you covered. We have therefore compared different products and you will find out what you should look for when buying and how you can ultimately find the right product for you.




Summary

  • Vanilla is available in a wide range of varieties and quality classes, as well as in various designs, so that there is something for every individual taste.
  • Vanilla is often used for cooking and baking, but there are also various products for different purposes in cosmetics and care.
  • Not only the design and taste is highly relevant, but also the place of origin plays an important role and is decisive for the quality.

The Best Vanilla: Our Picks

In this section we have listed our favourites for you, which can help you to make a purchase decision. You will find the perfect product with and made of vanilla for every taste and need, so you can easily order it directly.

Buying and evaluation criteria for vanilla

The choice of vanilla products is huge and can make the search process difficult. For this reason, we have summarised the most important criteria for you again, so that you can find the optimal vanilla variety, but also the right fragrance or the suitable care with vanilla for you. These criteria are as follows:

Now we will explain what to look for under these conditions so that you can make an informed and ideal decision.

Quality

The quality of the vanilla is enormously important for the taste and can give dishes a mild or intense aroma. To ensure that the vanilla bean can be used in dishes without any problems, the sticks should not be too thin. The place where you buy your vanilla should also be reputable and promising.

The price is especially important, as a high-quality vanilla bean is very precious. For this reason, you should also be careful when vanilla is offered at knock-down prices and shop with caution. You can recognise a good vanilla pod by its elasticity, its leathery texture and its dark brown to black colour, which shimmers.

Speciality

Vanilla has many varieties and you will find it in many different forms. Whether as a spice in the form of a vanilla pod, a vanilla extract or as vanilla powder. Vanilla is also often used in skincare and cosmetics because of its uniquely warm scent. Another reason why vanilla is highly priced is the manual and artificial pollination that is only practised for vanilla.

Since vanilla is in high demand, there are cheaper alternatives to fall back on. One option would be vanillin, which is artificially produced and imitates the taste of real vanilla. Vanilla can also be used as an aid to boost metabolism, strengthen muscles and as an aphrodisiac.

Origin

Originally, the vanilla plant is found in Mexico, a tropical region. Through globalisation, the precious spice plant became internationally known and is now also cultivated outside Mexico. Besides Mexico, bourbon vanilla is mainly cultivated in East African countries such as Madagascar and the Comoros, but also on the island of Réunion.

The well-known vanilla plant is also cultivated in huge plantations in Asian countries such as India and Indonesia. While in Central America the orchid plant is naturally pollinated by bees, in the other countries of origin it has to be pollinated synthetically by hand. However, the weather conditions in the East African countries are ideal for growing the vanilla plant.

Packaging material

Vanilla is now available in different packaging for various reasons. On the one hand, the packaging ensures that the vanilla pod does not dry out and retains a fresh as well as aromatic taste. On the other hand, the packaging in the grinder or tin can be taken directly into use and reused.

Whether paper, glass or plastic, you’ll find vanilla products in all types of packaging to suit your taste. There is environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging made of paper and glass, but also attractive and attractive packaging that does not require any further storage options and at the same time saves further costs.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about vanilla answered in detail

In this section, the most frequently asked questions on the subject of sugar cans are explained in order to obtain sufficient information when purchasing sugar cans.

What is vanilla suitable for?

Vanilla can be used in many ways, both in cooking and in cosmetics and care. Not only the vanilla pulp is ideal for adding that certain something to dishes and drinks. The vanilla pod can also be used as a flavouring agent in cooking and baking or as a decoration.

You can use the vanilla pulp pure or as vanilla sugar by storing the vanilla pulp with sugar in a glass container for several weeks. The popular spice is suitable for sauces, pasta dishes, quiche, casseroles and soups. As is well known, however, vanilla is mainly used for desserts, such as cakes, biscuits, creams, puddings and ice cream. What many people don’t know is that vanilla is also great for flavouring meat and fish dishes.

Not only can vanilla be used as a spice, but also as a remedy, and it works wonders. As mentioned before, vanilla can be used as an aprodisiac to increase desire. In addition, vanilla can prevent inflammation and has an antibacterial and skin-care effect. If you are struggling with sleep problems or anxiety, the rich vanilla can calm you down. However, for many purposes and problems, vanilla offers direct help.

Is vanilla healthy?

Vanilla can be consumed without any concerns and, as we have already learned in the previous section, has numerous positive effects on the body and soul. As a mood enhancer, skin care, aphrodisiac and of course as a spice, the precious vanilla has a promising effect on our well-being in every respect.

It is truly a miraculous home remedy that not only smells and tastes beautiful, but also provides sufficient care. The freshly harvested vanilla pods consist mostly of water, sugar, fat and some minerals. Thus, the pod is free of unhealthy and harmful substances. On the contrary, it is rich in good nutrients and has a vitalising effect.

What does vanilla cost?

In the previous sections, the topic of the price of vanilla has already been slightly touched upon. Real vanilla is one of the most popular spices in the world. Due to the complex farming, vanilla flowers usually have to be pollinated by hand, although in Latin America the vanilla plant is naturally pollinated by bees and is an exception. Harvesting already begins when the vanilla pods are yellow-green and is elementary for the quality of the pod.

Heißgetränk mit einer Vanilleschote, Schokolade und einer Blume dekoriert.

The vanilla bean has many uses. As a seasoning in hot drinks, the taste is particularly delicious and intense.(Image source: Magda Fou/ Unsplash)

The demanding drying and fermentation process, which takes several weeks, gives the pods their dark brown to black colour and leathery texture. This process develops the vanillin in the pod and gives it its full and intense flavour. There is also the problem of constant harvest variations, so that often not enough vanilla can be sold and the price has to be set accordingly high.

Thus, the price depends on the demand and the harvest yields, but also on the complex production process and the quality.

Conclusion

Vanilla is the optimal solution for you to give your dishes a special flavour and to experiment with taste, but also to do something good for your well-being. Due to the wide range of vanilla types – powder, extract or pod – it is versatile and practical.

Besides the taste, vanilla can also be used as an effective home remedy to prevent skin problems, insomnia and depression. However, personal preferences and quality play an important role in the purchase decision, whereas price and place of origin are secondary.

(Cover picture: Hofacker/ 123rf)

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