Some say that “first love is like vanilla ice cream. There may come many eclectic flavors, but there shall be only one classic.”
And namely because vanilla is unique, we decided it’s time to reveal more about its beauty and share the story with you.
Firstly, let’s make things clear! If you think that vanilla is “white powder that they sell on the supermarket”,
you are probably wrong. But, hey, you’re not alone! It turns out that most people don’t actually know what vanilla looks like and how to use it properly. The real vanilla
comes from orchids and is obtained by their dark brown and juicy pods.
However, to see what differentiates one type from another, we’re going to talk about 3 vanilla types and their main characteristics
- Vanilla pods
As you already know, vanilla pods are the real thing
! Each and every pod is full of thousands and thousands of flavors that explode into the air once you cut it through. Vanilla pods might be more expensive (how could it be otherwise!?) but they are definitely worth it. Especially if you are a keen baker and enjoy cooking all kinds of cakes, creams and other sweet stuff! This specific type tends to give an amazing aroma to each dish and also adds texture because of the numerous little black seeds.
When stored correctly, vanilla pods can turn out to be a very paying investment
for your kitchen. That’s because they might last for a long time, especially if you choose to ‘dip’ them in a jar of sugar. This way they will also add extra flavors to the sugar itself.
- Vanilla extract
That’s probably one of the most common types of vanilla in lots of countries around the world. However, there are many ‘ifs’
when it comes to vanilla extract’s production. First of all, the quality depends on the ingredients they put. Secondly, it also comes down to whether there are additional sweeteners and colorants, or not. The amount of vanilla pods used, the temperature, the time taken for the extraction and the alcohol:water
proportion are also important factors.
How to recognize the real
vanilla extract, though? Well, it usually has a bright, amber color and may have a slight greasy layer because of the ethers
within the vanilla pod. What’s more, if the color of the extract is too dark, this might be a sign that there is additional sugar.
- Vanilla powder
Most of us remember the times when vanilla powder was the only option on the market. Sadly, that’s now known to be a synthetic vanillin powder
. Probably there are no more than two actual ways in order to make real vanilla powder. The first one is by grinding the small seeds and adding powdered sugar or corn starch. The other way is to mix dehydrated vanilla extract with dextrose and sugar. Well, there’s hope!
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