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What Does Ugandan Vanilla Taste Like

Slofoodgroup Team October 03, 2022

Until recently, Uganda vanilla has experienced minimal notoriety, but that’s all changing as it has started to  make waves in the culinary world. Chefs and culinary purists, alike,  have fallen in love with its unique taste components. The flavor profile of these beans is unmatched and it is quickly becoming a preferred addition to a wide variety of baked goods, desserts, and extracts worldwide.

These are gorgeous beans, with a smooth, deep brown to ebony exterior. They are often described as being supple, practically bursting with fragrant vanilla caviar and even though they  might look to be the same size as other planifolia vanilla beans with the naked eye, more often than not, they’ll tip the scales a bit more. 

Not only are they beautiful, their flavor profile is something that is certainly worth noting. 

What specific attributes make Ugandan vanilla beans a standout choice regarding flavor, though? Let’s take a look. 

Ugandan Vanilla Bean Flavor

Ugandan vanilla beans are mostly of the Planifolia variety. Like the beloved Madagascar, or Bourbon, variety, they are adored for their cream-like attributes. But the Ugandan growing region produces an entirely different bean.

Ugandan Vanilla Tastes Sweeter

The soil, moisture levels, temperatures, and other environmental factotrs work together to generate a vanilla bean with much higher levels of vanillin (the chemical compound that contributes that distinct vanilla flavor we all know and love) than most other vanilla bean varieties. In fact, because the vanillin content is so high, many people have taken to referring to this particular vanilla bean variety by the moniker of, Ugandan Gold.

The unusually high levels of vanillin make the vanilla caviar taste sweeter, which perfectly positions these beans for use in cream-based desserts, tart fruit dishes, and anything containing chocolate. 

Ugandan Vanilla Beans Are Chocolatey

Speaking of chocolate, the flavor of Ugandan vanilla is quite often described as, “chocolatey”. It is earthy, bold, and a bit nutty, but unlike many other ingredients that are described using the same adjective, these beans are definitely not bitter. Instead, it is similar to a quality milk chocolate—smooth, sweet, and creamy with buttery undertones.  It is this particular flavor component that makes Ugandan vanilla a fantastic choice for use in cookie recipes and festive cocktails.

Ugandan Vanilla Beans Taste Like Dried Fruit

Another frequently used descriptor of vanilla from Uganda is, “fruity”—specifically dried fruit. Ugandan vanilla is known for containing intense, concentrated notes of dried fruits such as figs, raisins, and plums. As you can imagine, these elements lend well to rich desserts like truffles, custards, and anything containing ganache!

Ugandan Vanilla Beans Have a Flavor Evolutionary Advantage

Uganda is at unique position for producing vanilla beans, because unlike most other growing regions, Uganda has 2 separate dry seasons. This means, they are able to harvest vanilla beans twice a year, providing double the opportunity for adapting their process and improving upon previous crops, putting these beans on the evolutionary fast track.

Are you ready to discover your new favorite vanilla bean? Start by making a double batch of vanilla extract with our Grade B Ugandan Vanilla Beans, or use these Gourmet Ugandan Vanilla Beans in your favorite rich dessert recipes.