The vanilla bean, or pod, is the long slender fruit of the vanilla orchid. Each pod contains thousands of seeds. It is one of the most expensive spices due to its complex and long curing process, particularly due to the orchid only flowering once per year. Vanilla beans are used in most of the world's cuisines. They are the purest and most potent form of vanilla and can be reused to steep in the liquid until losing their flavour, or the seeds inside can be scraped out and the pod discarded. It has a floral aroma and a smooth caramel flavor. The best beans are air-dried to a moisture content of 25-30%. Other products: vanilla sugar.
Vanilla beans are grown in the equatorial regions of the world, there are many varieties and they come in many grades and sizes. Choosing the right quality vanilla bean will make a lot of difference to the flavor of your dish. We only select grade A - This commonly known as Prime or Gourmet vanilla beans. These beans are of a dark color with 25-30% moisture content and more attractive than Grade B. They are or should in most cases be used for cooking and top chefs prefer them. Grade B vanilla beans are much drier and brittle to touch. These beans are generally used to make vanilla extract Vanilla beans are commonly used in sweet dishes, however, they can be also used in savory dishes such as lobster entrees.
Vanilla contains essentials oils, vitamins, and minerals. It contains small amounts of B-complex, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B-6. These vitamins help the nervous system function and regulating body metabolism. Vanilla also contains calcium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, and zinc.
Vanilla beans are derived from the orchid plant of the genus Vanilla. The word vanilla comes from the Spanish word "vaina" which translates to the little pod. This vanilla ‘fruit' was originally grown in Mesoamerica, part of which is where Mexico is located today. It was not until 1841 when they learned the art of hand pollinating that vanilla production was able to spread to other equatorial regions of the world. Our vanilla beans are sourced from Tahiti - other countries where they are grown include Papua New Guinea, Central America, Indonesia, Mexico, madacasgar and West Indies
Porcini mushrooms are a wild and meaty mushroom with a rich taste and woodsy flavor. These mushrooms actually produce their best flavor when dried. They also have a high protein content, great as a meat substitute for vegetarian dishes.
Black Pepper is picked from the flowering vine of the peppercorn plant and is the most pungent and flavourful variety of Pepper. Black peppercorns are picked green and then dried to 12% moisture content. The cracked form tends to be used in grinders and preserving meats. It has a woody flavour with a spicy heat. Pepper is used in all cultures and all types of cuisine. Also, it is known for improving digestion.
Sesame seeds Black are tiny, flat oval seeds from the sesame plant whose pods pop open when it reaches maturity scattering the seeds, hence the term “Open Sesame”. These are the unhulled form of white sesame seeds & have a more crunchy texture. When chewed they have a similar nutty flavour with a hint of extra sharpness. Used more in savoury dishes like stir-fry vegetables & Japanese seasonings. Due to its deep, rich aroma and oil-rich, nutty flavour, they are preferred over white sesame in East Asian cuisines, especially in Japanese and Chinese cooking. We also stock Sesame Seeds White.
Sumac crushed is obtained from the dried berries from a bush that grows in the Middle East and southern Italy, and it is essential for Middle-Eastern cuisine especially Persian, Lebanese, and Turkish. In Middle Eastern cooking, sumac is used as a souring agent instead of lemon or vinegar. Sumac is delicious on roast meat & in particular lamb when mixed with paprika, pepper & oregano. It has a tangy, lemony, and fruity sour flavour and a fruity aroma that was once used as the tart, acid element by Romans. It can be used as a substitute of lemon in any dish on which you might squeeze fresh lemon juice. Also, its deep red-dark purple colour makes it a very attractive garnish.
Thyme leaves is a perennial herb from the mint family originally native to the southern Europe and Mediterranean regions, and a great ingredient for daily cooking. Its dried leaves are gray-green leaves, and it has an herbaceous, minty, light-lemon aroma and mint and lemon flavour. It can be added to soups, stews, clam chowder, stuffing, gumbos, heartier sauces, sausages, roast chicken or pork, and many vegetable dishes, or fish. Its mint-like flavour that pairs well in most dishes. Its characteristic astringency counteracts rich and fatty foods.
Madras Curry blend is characterized by a delicious rich earthy tangy flavor, mild heat, and intense yellow color. Although it is not a traditional Indian spice blend, its history goes back to British colonial rule and the city of Madras in southern India.