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The Ultimate Guide to Vanilla Beans From Papua New Guinea

Slofoodgroup Team September 09, 2021

We love the smell and taste of all things vanilla but how much do you know about this lovely flavored bean? 

According to studies, Americans rank vanilla as their #1 ice cream flavor. Though we consider this a high honor, vanilla has so many more uses than just flavoring our favorite sweet treats.

Some of the best quality beans are Tahitian vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea. They have a variety of uses and they have a heavenly flavor and fragrance.

Keep reading to find out more about these magic beans and how to buy bulk vanilla beans from PNG.  First though, let's learn about vanilla beans in general and a few of our other favorite varieties. 

Different Vanilla Bean Types  

Vanilla is part of the orchid family with over 25,000 different species worldwide. The first vanilla bean was discovered on the east coast of Mexico in the 15th Century, and since then there have been over 150 types discovered in many different parts of the world. 

Vanilla beans vary in flavor and fragrance depending on what region they come from. Some of the most popular and high-quality vanilla beans hail from Madagascar, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda.

The soil, climate, production, and growing of the vanilla bean in varying locations account for differences in the smell and taste of the bean.

Let's take a closer look at some of these varieties of the vanilla bean plant. 

Vanilla Beans From Madagascar 

Madagascar is one of the top producers of vanilla with over 60% of the world's vanilla coming from the island. 

It has a divine aroma with a rich and creamy taste to boot. Unlike Mexican vanilla which is pollinated by bees, vanilla beans from Madagascar undergo human pollination. This process makes this type of vanilla more expensive. 

It has a creamier flavor, which makes it a perfect ingredient for ice cream and baked dishes like fruit-based pie. 

Vanilla Beans From Uganda 

This vanilla bean is not as common as other types of vanilla.

The climate in Uganda offers two dry seasons per year which creates a steady flow of production and sales. 

Its flavor is stronger and richer because of its high concentration of vanillin, and also contains some earthy aromas when it's been cooked. It also contains a chocolatey fragrance and is much sweeter than vanilla from Mexico or Madagascar. 

Ugandan vanilla bean is great for chocolate cakes, cookies, and sweet drinks. 

Tahitian Vanilla Beans From Papua New Guinea

While Tahitian vanilla does come from Tahini, the term is used for vanilla tahitensis, a specific variety of vanilla orchids. It is found in Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, and Ecuador. 

Similarly, the term bourbon vanilla is used to describe vanilla planifolia, which is well-known in Madagascar but is also grown in Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Indonesia, and Comoros. 

Tahitian vanilla beans have a unique shape in that they are wider and flatter than other beans. They also contain less vanillin though the vanilla flavor is rich in this bean. They also contain delicious notes of caramel and anise when they are extracted.

Because of its beautiful and fragrant aroma, this type of vanilla is great for vanilla-scented products like candles, oils, and perfumes. 

Interesting Uses for Vanilla 

We know that vanilla is a staple in the kitchen and it is used in many recipes. But you may be surprised to know that vanilla also has some interesting therapeutic (and recreational) uses.

Check out some of Vanilla's flavor and aroma uses in these cool and interesting ways: 

  • As an aphrodisiac¬†
  • Aid in gas-relief
  • Calm a crying newborn
  • Produce feelings of relaxation¬†
  • Relieve sleep apnea
  • Use as a sugar substitute
  • Reduce high blood glucose level¬†
  • Ease a toothache¬†
  • Relieve a fever

Vanilla doesn't just smell and taste great. Vanilla extract has been used in traditional medicine as an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. Lighting up a vanilla-scented candle can add to your feelings of relaxation. Give vanilla a try the next time you are experiencing any of these conditions. 

How to Choose the Right Vanilla 

Whether you want to make your own vanilla bean paste or create vanilla-infused products, you want the best quality for your vanilla products. 

It may be tempting to go for the cheapest option but if you want to create quality recipes and quality products, it's best to invest in a high-quality bean. 

Firstly, consider what you will be using the vanilla for. 

If you want to make your own vanilla extract, choose vanilla that will complement your recipes. Perhaps you need vanilla that is richer, lighter, creamier, or sweeter. These factors will affect the taste of your food. 

If you want to make vanilla-infused products, you will need a vanilla bean with a stronger fragrance and lighter flavor profile. Be sure to take these into consideration when you are deciding on what type of vanilla you need. 

When you've decided on the vanilla that is right for you, we recommend that you buy vanilla beans in bulk. Slofoodgroup has a wide variety of gourmet vanilla beans from around the world, available in bulk. 

The Thrilla of Vanilla

Vanilla is not only a great ingredient for all types of recipes, but it also has a ton of other uses. We love it for its delicious smell and even more delicious flavor. Though there are many varieties of vanilla, the Tahitian vanilla bean from Papua New Guinea is one of our favorites for its many uses and amazing aroma. 

If you're obsessed with all things vanilla, order bulk vanilla beans from PNG online.