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Tahitian Vanilla


sote23
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I've been using Tahitian Vanilla beans grown in Tahiti for chocolates, and the prices keep on going higher and higher, due to a bad crop last year. Anyway, I was wondering if anyone used Tahitian vanilla grown in other areas besides Tahiti. For example, I have no experience with Tahitian Vanilla grown in Papua New Guinea, which seems to be much cheaper. I wanted to get anyones feedback. Has anyone used both tahitian beans grown in tahiti and from elsewhere?

Luis

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interesting question. on the same note, I was wondering if any proffesional chefs can comment on the cheap tahitian vanilla on eBay compared to the stuff you get from your local wholeseller. here in Norway, the regular stuff is almost ten times as expensive...

wow, 10 times more expensive. the vinalla on ebay is the tahitian variety from Papau New Ginea, I believe.

Luis

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interesting question. on the same note, I was wondering if any proffesional chefs can comment on the cheap tahitian vanilla on eBay compared to the stuff you get from your local wholeseller. here in Norway, the regular stuff is almost ten times as expensive...

wow, 10 times more expensive. the vinalla on ebay is the tahitian variety from Papau New Ginea, I believe.

Luis

yeah, thats how I reacted...mayby I shall moonlite as a vanilla-pusher... :raz:

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Have you tried Hawaiian vanilla yet? It and lavender are two of Hawai'i's most recent export crops (along with Hawaiian Vintage Chocolate). It's the only domestically grown vanilla.

http://www.ecware.com/ecscripts/ecware.exe...&itemid=1&lc=EN

Miulang

thanks for the info. I had no idea hawaii grew vanilla.

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I switched over to 'ebay vanilla' a couple months ago after getting fed up with the ridiculous local vanilla prices. My local specialty food supplier charges $40 for a 1/4 lb of Tahitian beans and $21 for a 1/4 lb of Madagascar Bourbons and the beans I've bought from ebay are easily as good if not better quality than them. I just paid $6.00, which included shipping, for 30 PNG Tahitian beans and they are great. I think they weighed out to around 1/3 lb and I paid $29, including shipping, for a pound of PNG Bourbons.

You have to figure that even if the ebay beans were inferior you could easily double or triple the amount used per recipe and still save a bunch of money.

Hope this helps.

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I switched over to 'ebay vanilla' a couple months ago after getting fed up with the ridiculous local vanilla prices. My local specialty food supplier charges $40 for a 1/4 lb of Tahitian beans and $21 for a 1/4 lb of Madagascar Bourbons and the beans I've bought from ebay are easily as good if not better quality than them. I just paid $6.00, which included shipping, for 30 PNG Tahitian beans and they are great. I think they weighed out to around 1/3 lb and I paid $29, including shipping, for a pound of PNG Bourbons.

You have to figure that even if the ebay beans were inferior you could easily double or triple the amount used per recipe and still save a bunch of money.

Hope this helps.

yes it does help

ok, so the ebay beans are fine then. I'm trying to find out the differences between vanilla grown in tahiti and papua new guinea or elsewhere.

luis

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I switched over to 'ebay vanilla' a couple months ago after getting fed up with the ridiculous local vanilla prices. My local specialty food supplier charges $40 for a 1/4 lb of Tahitian beans and $21 for a 1/4 lb of Madagascar Bourbons and the beans I've bought from ebay are easily as good if not better quality than them. I just paid $6.00, which included shipping, for 30 PNG Tahitian beans and they are great. I think they weighed out to around 1/3 lb and I paid $29, including shipping, for a pound of PNG Bourbons.

You have to figure that even if the ebay beans were inferior you could easily double or triple the amount used per recipe and still save a bunch of money.

Hope this helps.

thanks for the ebay tip. Did not know about that before; just bought myself a pound.

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yes it does help

ok, so the ebay beans are fine then. I'm trying to find out the differences between vanilla grown in tahiti and papua new guinea or elsewhere.

luis

I could be way off but I'd guess that location alone doesn't have a huge impact. Tahitian vanilla is it's own variety and is only named Tahitian because that's where it was developed but it's not like it has to be grown in Tahiti to be Tahitian vanilla. I figure that different countries climates would perhaps impact the size of the bean but I'd think that the flavor would be more or less the same.

The PNG Tahitian beans I've had seem pretty much identical to those I've had that have actually come from Tahiti. Just as the PNG Bourbon beans are very similar to those from Madagascar.

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yes it does help

ok, so the ebay beans are fine then. I'm trying to find out the differences between vanilla grown in tahiti and papua new guinea or elsewhere.

luis

I could be way off but I'd guess that location alone doesn't have a huge impact. Tahitian vanilla is it's own variety and is only named Tahitian because that's where it was developed but it's not like it has to be grown in Tahiti to be Tahitian vanilla. I figure that different countries climates would perhaps impact the size of the bean but I'd think that the flavor would be more or less the same.

The PNG Tahitian beans I've had seem pretty much identical to those I've had that have actually come from Tahiti. Just as the PNG Bourbon beans are very similar to those from Madagascar.

I don't know enough about the subject to speak with certainty, but I've heard Tahitian Vanilla grown in Tahiti is different than other tahitian vanillas from other parts of the world.

Great, so you've tried both and say they are pretty much the same. I will give the ones from PNG a try.

thanks for the input

Luis

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I Ebay-ed some of those "Tahitian" vanilla from PNG a while back, and while the beans were moist and quite fragrant (and very, very cheap!), they seemed to impart only very subtle flavor on their own, compared to "Madagascar" vanilla. I don't know if the beans I tried were typical of tahitian beans, or if they were exceptional, but the species of vanilla orchid that Tahitian vanilla beans come from, Vanilla tahitiensis, reportedly contains much less vanillin than the Vanilla planifolia species, of which Madagascar is the largest producer (source). However, when I added some extract to the mix along with the tahitian beans, I thought the end result was a much fuller, more typical vanilla flavor.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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No Idea they grew Vanilla in Uganda. where do you get either of those two vanillas?.....Luis

The Ugandan product is for sale @ Granville Island Market, the Tongan product was bought on Vava'u but is widely found on the net.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I Ebay-ed some of those "Tahitian" vanilla from PNG a while back, and while the beans were moist and quite fragrant (and very, very cheap!), they seemed to impart only very subtle flavor on their own, compared to "Madagascar" vanilla. I don't know if the beans I tried were typical of tahitian beans, or if they were exceptional, but the species of vanilla orchid that Tahitian vanilla beans come from, Vanilla tahitiensis, reportedly contains much less vanillin than the Vanilla planifolia species, of which Madagascar is the largest producer (source). However, when I added some extract to the mix along with the tahitian beans, I thought the end result was a much fuller, more typical vanilla flavor.

Patrick, your experience with the Tahitian species matches mine. I'm not overly fond of the Tahitian variety because it does tend to be more subtle, and much more floral in flavor. When trying to get a lot of vanilla flavor by using a lot of the Tahitian beans, I often find the resulting flavor a bit sickening because the floral tones almost start to taste a bit "off." I know a lot of people live and die by the Tahitian ones, but everyone's tastes are different. The planifola beans will give you that nice vanilla wham to which I think most of us are accustomed.

Josh Usovsky

"Will Work For Sugar"

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I Ebay-ed some of those "Tahitian" vanilla from PNG a while back, and while the beans were moist and quite fragrant (and very, very cheap!), they seemed to impart only very subtle flavor on their own, compared to "Madagascar" vanilla. I don't know if the beans I tried were typical of tahitian beans, or if they were exceptional, but the species of vanilla orchid that Tahitian vanilla beans come from, Vanilla tahitiensis, reportedly contains much less vanillin than the Vanilla planifolia species, of which Madagascar is the largest producer (source). However, when I added some extract to the mix along with the tahitian beans, I thought the end result was a much fuller, more typical vanilla flavor.

Patrick, your experience with the Tahitian species matches mine. I'm not overly fond of the Tahitian variety because it does tend to be more subtle, and much more floral in flavor. When trying to get a lot of vanilla flavor by using a lot of the Tahitian beans, I often find the resulting flavor a bit sickening because the floral tones almost start to taste a bit "off." I know a lot of people live and die by the Tahitian ones, but everyone's tastes are different. The planifola beans will give you that nice vanilla wham to which I think most of us are accustomed.

your right, the tahitian is alot more subtle and may not be to everyone's taste. I personally prefer it. It just depends on what your looking for.

Luis

Edited by sote23 (log)
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Patrick,

The reason for the difference you noticed in flavor is because tahitian beans have less vanillin content in them. There are two species of vanilla: Planifolia and Tahitinses. Planifolia has more vanillin content than Tahitinses. Planifolia beans are Mexican, Madagascar, and Bourbon. Tahitian beans are a totally different species. It is believed that it was a mutation from the planifolia species in the wild but no one knows for sure where they came from.

quote=sote23,May 12 2007, 12:35 AM]

I've recently had Vanilla from  the Tongan island of Vava'u-ambrosial product and not expensive-and have seen Vanilla from Uganda for a very decent price.

[/quote

No Idea they grew Vanilla in Uganda. where do you get either of those two vanillas?

Luis

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