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The flavor of Madagascar “Bourbon” vanilla can be described as rich and creamy having moderate tobacco or licorice like notes and a woody, prune likeness. These vanilla beans are the ones commonly called for in most recipes. These beans are perfect for flavoring chocolate, coffee, ice cream, cookies and most sweet dishes. Good with certain savory dishes like lobster or veal. Use the whole pod or cut and remove the inner seeds.

The Aztecs referred to vanilla beans as "tlilxochitl" (tea-so-shill) or "xoco-latl", which in their native tongue, Náhuatl, is the word for "Black Flower".

Never refrigerate or freeze. Keep in an airtight container, out of sunlight and away from heat. Vanila beans sometimes are speckled with a pale, whitish dust. This is crystallized vanillin, the substance gives them their flavor, and is nothing to worry about!  Use pod whole, cut or remove the inner seeds. The easiest way to obtain the inner seed is to split the bean lengthwise, open the bean up flat, and scrap from top to bottom with the edge of a knife. One vanilla bean is equal to 1 tbsp. of extract.

Vanilla is native to Mexico, where it is still grown commercially.
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