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
Star anise, is a star-shaped fruit that is considered an essential ingredient in Chinese duck and pork recipes. Its licorice-like flavour is similar to that of aniseed and fennel It has a sweet warm, clovey, liquorice flavour, and deep aroma. Used to add flavour to tea, soups, stir-fries and curries, while the ground star anise is a dominant ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder.
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.
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.
Our Smoky BBQ rub is a must have for any cook passionate about grilling. We came up with this blend with the idea of having it as a staple on-hand spice mix in the pantry for whatever occasion strikes. Whether it be roasting potatoes or grilling meat let this blend do all the flavour work for you!
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.
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.