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
Sichuan Pepper is an oriental fruit grown on a small ash tree native to the Sichuan province of China. Even though it is called pepper, it is not a true pepper and is not related to black peppercorns, which are from India. The berries have a warm peppery fragrance, with citrus notes & a clean fresh aftertaste leaving a slightly numbing sensation on the tongue. It is the outer husk that has all the flavour, the internal hard black seed is edible but can add a bitter taste. It is a key ingredient in Chinese cuisine and used in some Asian recipes. It is used in our chilli sichuan salt and calamari salt and pepper blends.
Chilli Ancho is a dried Poblano pepper. They are a large dark purple sweet chilli that forms the backbone of staple Mexican dishes such as tamales & red chilli beans. Its texture is wrinkled and it is a mild chilli originally from Puebla, Mexico. It has a mild fruity flavour with undertones of plum, raisin, tobacco and a slight earthy bitterness. Add Chilli Ancho Dried Whole to your dishes to impart an authentic Mexican flavour.
Mixed herbs is a common and popular spice blend used in all manner of dishes. The traditional mix is comprised of only sage, marjoram, and thyme. We have added basil and rosemary to make a modern blend. It has a great, fresh, and delicate flavour and floral aroma. It is a convenient way to add a complex array flavours to a dish.
Black Pepper is picked from the flowering vine of the peppercorn plant and is the most pungent and flavoursome variety of Pepper. Black peppercorns are picked green and then dried to 12% moisture content. When ground, its grey in colour as the seed inside is white. It has a woody flavour with a spicy heat and it is used in all cultures and types of cuisine especially in Moroccan and Middle East cooking. Pepper is used in all cultures and all types of cuisine. Also, it is known for improving digestion.
Rosemary is a large Mediterranean shrub with needle-like leaves and with a strong lemony pine aroma and pungent flavour. It is mostly used in French, Spanish, and Italian cuisines especially when cooking lamb and chicken. It is a key ingredient in the French blend Herbs de Provence. It has many health benefits and also it has been used for medicinal purposes.
Tarragon leaves are one of the four fines herbs and a key ingredient in French cuisine. It is popular in European cooking due to its distinct appetite-pleasing taste. Tarragon herb has narrow, pointed dark green leaves which give a warm, minty anise-like aroma, reminiscent of anise or licorice flavour. Its sweet-tangy aroma with a slightly bitter taste is much liked in egg dishes, cream soups, poultry roast, mustards, or as a tarragon vinegar. Tarragon is an essential herb in Béarnaise and tartare sauce. However, it can easily dominate other flavours so should be added carefully. It is also rich in phytonutrients as well as antioxidants that help promote health and prevent diseases.