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Purchasing Madagascar Vanilla Beans or Vanilla from Tahiti

Slofoodgroup Team May 16, 2021

There can be only one champion, Madagascar or Tahiti, you choose your favorite vanilla bean

Thinking about purchasing vanilla beans? Not sure what type of vanilla bean to buy? Ask any food manufacturer, food service professional, home-cook, brewer, baker and you will see the choice in vanilla is not so easy. There is a significant amount of debate when it comes to purchasing vanilla beans online.

Things to consider when purchasing vanilla beans

Price, amount of beans per pound, flavor, aroma, and other factors, but what type of bean really is best and why? The key to answering this question for many people comes down to what you intend to do with vanilla? It sounds quite difficult, we know, but it is really not.

How do you plan on using your vanilla beans?

Do you intend to make homemade vanilla extract? Are you thinking about starting your health and beauty line with soaps, lotions or fragrances? To help you decide we are going to discuss two of our favorites Madagascar and Tahiti. Making vanilla extract is probably the most common use for vanilla but it is not the only use.

Lets first discuss what Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans are:

Vanilla beans, vanilla sticks, vanilla pods you name it, the phrases used for describing vanilla can be confusing. All these vanilla terms mean the same thing. They are words used to describe the hand pollinated and cured fruit of the vanilla orchid.

Vanilla from Madagascar commonly called bourbon vanilla, is rich dark and creamy. It comes from the orchid V. planifolia. This type of vanilla is a favorite for ice cream, food retail, craft brewing and restaurants.

Madagascar vanilla beans are high quality vanilla beans, there is no denying that. Vanilla beans from Madagascar are sweet and buttery in aroma and full of vanilla seeds that are bursting with flavor. The pods are slender in length with a dark black to milk chocolate appearance.

Madagascar vanilla represents eighty percent of the worlds annual supply of vanilla beans. That is a lot of vanilla! Bourbon vanilla is mostly used to compliment other ingredients in many recipes like chocolate confections, coca cola, cakes, and more. Most of the worlds vanilla supply is actually used in making vanilla extract.


The overwhelmingly sweet buttery aroma of Madagascar vanilla goes well in so many products. Madagascar is truly the king of vanilla but still is it really the best vanilla bean to buy? If you are making vanilla extract and want a full flavored strong vanilla, this is definitely a top choice.

buying Madagascar vanilla beans article image
Above Madagascar vanilla beans and Vanilla Beans from Tahiti Below
buying Tahitian vanilla beans online

Tahitian vanilla beans, real vanilla from Tahiti, not the imposters from Indonesia or Papua New Guinea

Sorry to our friends in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia but lets face it, you are not real thing. Tahitian vanilla from these countries are commonly more affordable than vanilla from Tahiti. The drawback of Tahitian vanilla from these countries is the flavor, aroma, appearance and quality just do not match up.

Vanilla from Tahiti is really the only true Tahitian vanilla bean

If you really want to splurge and use the term Tahitian vanilla on your menu, try supporting sustainable agriculture from Tahiti. These vanilla beans make up less than one- percent of vanilla world-wide. Authentic Tahitian vanilla is commonly used in service food and retail craft operations. The soft, fruity and floral aroma of Tahitian vanilla is something of a mystery to experience.

The aroma of Tahitian vanilla is not what you think of when you think of vanilla. Taking a trip to the islands of Tahiti just might change your mind about vanilla forever. In Tahiti, this aroma wafts through the mid days air. Vanilla beans are placed out to dry in the warm days sun and its smell is soothing, alluring and sensual.

Commonly used in five star hotels and restaurants, vanilla from Tahiti is also used in brewing, perfumery, lip balms, lotions, etc. A chef once told me if you can cook it in your mind, it can be done on a plate. Chefs and home cooks everyday push the boundaries of flavor. You should too by incorporating Tahitian vanilla in your kitchen.

Do either types of vanilla beans have different health benefits that you should consider?

At Slofoodgroup we like to share information that is publicly available. None of what we share is intended to diagnose or treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please always consult your health care professional before making any decisions. In most case, vanilla is used with cupfuls of sugar, so any health benefits are most likely negligible.

It's hard say but any potential health benefit of vanilla is possibly mitigated from the use of sugar or other sweeteners. We do not really know, we are not health care professionals, just lovers of vanilla flavor here. Natural and holistic benefits of vanilla may include the following (might want to have your kids close their eyes or stop reading here ): calming, sexual arousal, and other properties can be read here in this article

Still wondering which vanilla bean to buy?

We get it, the choice for the right vanilla is difficult. There are so many vanilla options out there that vanilla is no longer just plain vanilla. Take a look around our shop, read about the many different types of vanilla beans.

Take a look at some of our other high quality spices. Read some recipes. We are also here help. Our team can answer any additional questions you may have. You can also find some helpful information on our frequently asked questions page.

Still not sure which vanilla bean is right for you? At Slofoodgroup we offer a world of sustainably sourced vanilla and deliver it to you. Choose what you like, when like and how you like it. Purchasing vanilla beans in bulk or by the bean is quick, easy and hassle free.

*Did you enjoy this article? Leave a comment below and let us know how we are doing. Be sure to also check out or growing selection of recipes and video tutorial to help grow your own kitchen confidence.

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