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Vanilla Beans, Mexican
The flavor of Mexican vanilla is similar to Madagascar beans though they have a mellower, smooth, quality and a spicy, woody fragrance. Their robust flavor is great for rich baked goods. Try in crème sauces, ice cream, sweet breads, custard, cheesecake and other wonderful desserts.
The Mexican emperor, Montezuma, introduced Vanilla to the Spanish explorer Cortez, who brought it to Europe in the 16th century.
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. No need to throw away the bean. Try using the vanilla bean skin by adding it to the drip basket to flavor your next pot of coffee. 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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