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Vanilla Beans from Ecuador- the South American Tahitian Treasure

Shawn Gavin October 19, 2023

Discovering Ecuador's Vanilla

The tapestry of flavors and fragrances that the world has to offer is vast and varied. Among these, Ecuador's very own vanilla bean stands out not just for its taste, but also for its aromatic allure. Specifically, we're speaking of the Vanilla Tahitensis, or as it's popularly known, the Tahitian vanilla bean. This special bean, with its unique flavor profile and myriad of applications, has earned a spot in gourmet kitchens and artisanal skincare recipes alike. In this exploration, we'll journey through the intricacies of the Tahitian vanilla bean from Ecuador, its distinctiveness, applications, and its comparison with the renowned Madagascar vanilla beans.

Ecuador, long known as the home of cocoa, chocolate and bananas is now in the vanilla business and other origins should take notice. The quality is top of the line and the price point competitive.



A vanilla green house in Ecuador and the women who care for the vanilla vines from Slofoodgroup

The Tahitian Vanilla Bean: A Brief Introduction

Originally native to the verdant landscapes of Tahiti, the Vanilla Tahitensis was introduced to the fertile terrains of Ecuador, where it flourishes beautifully. Unlike its counterpart, the Vanilla Planifolia from Madagascar, the Tahitian variant boasts a thicker pod with a more pronounced oily sheen. Its scent is predominantly floral, underscored by nuances of cherry and anise, making it a favorite for those who appreciate the finer subtleties in flavor.

Applications of the Tahitian Vanilla Bean

1) Vanilla Bean Delicacies: Owing to its floral and light flavor, the Tahitian vanilla bean is the perfect ingredient for desserts such as panna cotta, fruit tarts, and creamy custards. It enhances dishes with a nuanced touch of vanilla that's neither too strong nor too faint.

2) Fragrant Living Spaces: Its delightful aroma doesn't just stop at food. The Tahitian vanilla bean also finds its way into scented candles, room sprays and oleoresins, allowing homes, perfumes and spaces to bask in its sweet, floral presence.

3) Skincare Elixirs: Harnessing the moisturizing properties of the bean, many skincare enthusiasts and brands incorporate the Tahitian vanilla bean into products ranging from body scrubs to hydrating lotions, delivering both nourishment and an aromatic experience.

Tahitian vs. Madagascar Vanilla Beans: what is the difference?

While both variants have their place in the world of flavors, they cater to different palettes and purposes. The robust, creamy essence of the Madagascar bean, stemming from the Vanilla Planifolia species, is often the image that comes to mind when one thinks of "classic vanilla." In contrast, the Tahitian bean offers a more layered aroma, replete with fruity and floral undertones. The good news is that users do not have to choose between Ecuadorian vanilla and Madagascar vanilla. Just like keeping a couple different finishing salts for specific tasks, users of vanilla may wish to consider using different vanilla beans for different purposes. 

Appearance-wise, the differences are clear. The Tahitian variant is more robust and glossier, while the Madagascar type is slender with a matte finish. 

Crafting Magic with Tahitian Vanilla Beans
Vanilla Extract: Create a signature vanilla extract by infusing vodka or rum with slit-open Tahitian beans. After a few weeks, the spirit will be imbued with the delicate aroma and flavor of the bean, ready for various recipes.

Tahitian Body Scrub: Mix ground Tahitian vanilla beans with sugar, coconut oil, and a touch of your favorite essential oil. This blend creates an exfoliating scrub that rejuvenates the skin, leaving it silky and fragrant.

Vanilla Sugar: By placing a slit Tahitian vanilla bean in a sugar jar, you can create a naturally flavored sweetener. Over time, the sugar imbibes the vanilla's essence, making it perfect for beverages and desserts.

As we journey through the aromatic world of the Tahitian vanilla bean from Ecuador, it's clear that its charm extends far beyond its taste, offering both gourmet experiences and sensory delights. Whether in delectable dishes or pampering potions, the Tahitian vanilla bean never ceases to enchant.

Ready to experience the aromatic magic firsthand? Dive into the world of rich flavors and buy your Vanilla Tahitensis beans directly from Ecuador. Click here to explore our selection and bring home these fragrant vanilla beans from Ecuador today.