Vanilla Beans, Tahitian
Tahitian vanilla has a rich, fruity flavor with floral notes and a touch of rummy/bourbon like notes. Not only is the taste and aroma amazing, but these big, wonderful beans yield large amounts of inner seed. These beans are perfect for flavoring chocolate, coffee, ice cream, cookies and most sweet dishes. Good with certain savory dishes like lobster or veal.
According to Old Totonac lore, Xanat, the young daughter of the Mexican fertility goddess, was in love with a Totonac youth. But she was unable to marry him due to her divine nature, so she transformed herself into a plant that would provide pleasure and happiness. She became a vanilla orchid so that she could belong to her human love and his people, forever. To this day the local people still celebrate the Vanilla Festival at the end of the harvest with dances and feasts.
Never refrigerate or freeze. Keep in an airtight container, out of sunlight and away from heat. Use the whole pod or cut and remove the inner seeds. The easiest way to obtain the inner seed is to split the bean lengthwise, open the bean up flat and scrape from top to bottom with the edge of a knife. One vanilla bean is equal to 1 tbsp. of extract.