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.
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.
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 whole peppercorn is great to use in grinders. 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.
White Pepper is black pepper that has been soaked to remove the outer husk. It is hotter and less fragrant than black pepper. It is one of the most versatile spices, particularly used in European cooking so as to not blemish creamy white sauces with black specs of pepper.
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.
Dahl is a mild curry made from dried lentils, peas, or beans, which have been made into a thick soup or stew. The spices are aromatic rather than hot and are added just before serving. Our lentil dahl blend is based on an authentic recipe from Southern Kerala in India. It is dark yellow in colour and is widely used in Indian, Nepali, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi cuisine. This is the go-to spice blend for any vegetarian or vegan cook. Its versatility is only limited by one’s imagination.