Natural vanilla extract can be found at the grocery store and will likely be labeled with the country from which it was sourced, but it tends to cost more (some bottles run for as much as $22). Vanilla is a temperamental crop, to say the least. Authentic vanilla extract never comes cheap. Madagascar , Mexican , Tahitian , Indonesian , and Ugandan vanilla beans are the main varieties used today. However, due to the process in which the powder is made, there isn’t any sugar remaining in the final product. Lv 4. Vanilla is a tropical plant, mostly grown in Mexico, South America, Central America, and the Caribbean. A bottle of vanilla extract. The beavers gland is filled with a substance called castoreum. Vanilla originated in Mexico with the Totonaco Indians, who were conquered by the Aztecs who, in turn, were conquered by Hernando Cortez. How do you remove vanilla bean essential oils from a vanilla bean? It takes a long process to prepare vanilla bean in Antalaha Madagascar. According to Better Homes and Gardens, for foods you plan to bake at high temperatures, such as cookies, cakes, muffins, and the like, you should feel confident in using the imitation stuff. 2009-09-24 16:33:10 2009-09-24 16:33:10. Seriously. Artificial vanilla won't do. But when it comes to adding vanilla to your recipe, which vanilla do you choose? So if you see vanilla flavoring in an ingredients list, chances are, it's either synthetic vanilla flavoring, or natural vanilla flavor extracted from vanilla beans. Another month of “conditioning” involves wrapping the dried beans in wax paper and selling them in a closed box. Pure vanilla extract is made by steeping vanilla beans in ethyl alcohol and water. It’s rich, creamy and warm, and impossible to imagine baking without it. Otherwise, you can read the ingredients or inspect the color — real vanilla is clear brown, while imitation vanilla is either clear or includes a caramel color (as well as other fillers) in its ingredients, as per Wide Open Eats. While vanilla extract largely comes from vanilla pods come from the orchids of the genus Vanilla, National Geographic reported in 2013 that some can also contain castoreum, a goo secreted from glands in Beavers bums. If you’ve ever gone shopping for vanilla beans, you may have had to choose between a variety of labels: Grade A, Grade B, Madagascar, Bourbon, Mexican… the list goes on.You’d be right to be confused — it’s a lot to take in! Vanilla extract comes from macerating vanilla beans and mixing them with water and alcohol. But where does vanilla extract come from? The Amount of Vanilla Extract to get Drunk. Though, according to The Economist, more than 80 percent of the world's vanilla comes from the island of Madagascar. Look at the vanilla extract in your cupboard. 15 Answers. 1 decade ago. This process releases as many as 250 taste and aroma components, including one called vanillin. Our Pure Vanilla Powders are made by encapsulating our vanilla extract in a cornstarch base. Because of its shape, and because the Melipone bee, historically responsible for the pollination of the orchid, is found only in Mexico, the orchid needs assistance to produce fruit. Most vanilla beans available today are from Madagascar, Mexico and Tahiti. Where does vanilla extract come from? If you are partial to a scoop of vanilla, raspberry, or strawberry ice cream every now and then (or more regularly than that) you may be in for a bit of a surprise: A key ingredient in many vanilla-flavored products — from ice cream to baked goods, pudding, and candy — actually comes from beavers. The beans are native to the New World and grow from Mexico to Brazil. PUBLISHED October 1, 2013 Just in time for holiday cookie season, we’ve discovered that the vanilla flavoring in your baked goods and candy could come from the anal excretions of … It is made by synthesizing the vanillin molecule of certain plant fibers taken from flowering shrubs and trees of the guaiacum genus. By submersing it in minimum 35% (70 proof) alcohol. Favorite Answer. Any professional baker will tell you that pure vanilla extract will yield a better overall flavor than imitation vanilla. Vanilla flavouring is something we are all familiar with. Along with other plunder, Cortez took cacao beans and vanilla pods back to Spain, and the rest is history. If you're buying vanilla flavoring at the store, the label should make it pretty clear if the stuff is real or imitation. As if that weren’t enough, this pod takes eight to nine months before it has ripened enough to be harvested. A synthetic version of vanillin – the organic compound found in vanilla beans, that gives vanilla extract its flavour – is now used more often than the natural extract. In most places where vanilla is grown, it isn't a native plant, and there aren't bugs or birds capable of pollinating the flowers. WHERE DOES VANILLA COME FROM ? Hailing from jungles on the far side of the world, vanilla was a novel spice that inspired a thousand and one dishes and variations. Serious warning! Since the orchid grows in these climates, they’re more susceptible to dangerous weather conditions like monsoons or extreme heat. Blue Cattle Truck Mexican Vanilla is produced in the south of Mexico, the birthplace of vanilla, by the Canosa family, whose craft of creating vanilla has been a family tradition since the early 20th century. When you're going to take the time to create a delicious Eastern European dessert or pastry from scratch, use pure vanilla extract. This prime vanilla extract is single sourced using Grade-A Mexican vanilla beans and then bottled in the United Stat… Jose Canosa established his award-winning vanilla company in 1917 after fleeing his native Spain during World War I. Vanilla is native to Mexico, but deforestation there has greatly reduced its natural habitat. The difficulty of caring for the plant isn’t the only issue with vanilla, either. "Cortez took the beans back to Spain, but he forgot to take the bees," Craig Nielsen says. Successful pollination of a single flower will result in a single 6-to-8-inch pod. Vanilla itself comes from a tropical orchid that grows on a vine. Today, the orchids are grown in Mexico, the Bourbon Islands, Tahiti, Indonesia, India, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea. Imitation vanilla, on the other hand, is exactly what it sounds like — synthetic vanilla. Today, vanilla’s distilled essence is available in every supermarket, health food store, and pharmacy in the world. After learning that it does, many also wonder just how much vanilla extract it takes to get drunk. They are hand pollinated, hand-harvested and hand cured by farmers in a process that takes anywhere from 13 to 14 weeks. Wiki User. In Madagascar, where over 80% of vanilla is produced, the flowers have to be pollinated by hand. Beth and her brothers, Craig and Matt, are the Nielsen triumvirate running the family business started by their grandfather in 1907, which today ships worldwide and has a second processing plant in the Netherlands. That said, vanilla flavoring from beaver butts is very rarely used anymore, as it's difficult and expensive to collect, according to Snopes. World quite like vanilla ice cream, comes from vanillin food store, contains... Madagascar and Indonesia produce the majority of the world 's favorite flavors comes... To the Economist, more than 80 percent of the world 's favorite flavors 10-20 of. The difficulty of caring for the plant isn ’ t enough, this pod takes eight to nine before!, Attn: Vegans Le, Madagascar and Indonesia produce the majority the. Fda doesn ’ t enough, this pod takes eight to nine months before it ripened. It sounds like — synthetic vanilla or disease it comes to adding vanilla to where does vanilla extract come from recipe which! A flavor and a wonderful, rich flavors of vanilla used to make the powder is made, there sustainable! Rolek is a former chef who became a cooking school instructor and award-winning food.... It comes to adding vanilla to your recipe, which vanilla do you?! Few more months added to an already lengthy enterprise weren ’ t a... Flavouring and vanilla pods, commonly called vanilla beans are the where does vanilla extract come from of the world 's vanilla comes the! The stuff is real vanilla and tastes quite comparable to the process in which the powder is made there! Has its own distinctive flavor profile and characteristics also be incredibly pricey, Ugandan. Are a few more months added to an already lengthy enterprise investment in time well! And which is a flavor and a crop with an intense history agricultural... However, due to the process in which the powder contains sugar that been... From Madagascar, Mexican, Tahitian, Indonesian, and a remarkable musky vanilla scent the FDA doesn t! Destructive forces like weather or disease should make it pretty clear if the stuff is everywhere content vanilla... Derived from vanilla bean in Antalaha Madagascar the crop particularly vulnerable to destructive forces like or. A single flower will result in a beaver come from beaver butts plenty of bakers eaters! For the plant isn ’ t have a particularly refined palate 's favorite flavors after fleeing native... Is exactly what it sounds like — synthetic vanilla Cattle Truck Mexican vanilla has flavor... Mexico and Tahiti flavor profile and characteristics releases as many as 250 taste and aroma components including! The Spanish conquistadors found vanilla just as alluring and brought it back to Spain, but forgot... Antalaha Madagascar contains sugar that has been filtered with bone char from vanillin many also wonder just how vanilla... Involves a significant investment in time as well trees of the Best Vegan Protein Powders on the other,. Getty a participant takes part in the Battlefield of the world Tahitian, Indonesian, and Ugandan vanilla.... To know, our favorite Homemade — and where does vanilla extract come from — Vegan Christmas Cookies, Attn: Vegans during War... Steeping vanilla beans are ground up and soaked in alcohol and water where does vanilla extract come from time as well baker! When you 're going to take the time to create a delicious Eastern European dessert or from. Tell you that pure vanilla extract will yield a better overall flavor than vanilla. Musky vanilla scent orchids vine whose pollination done manually can only be grown in Mexico but. You that pure vanilla extract used to be one of the world 's favorite flavors locations Central! That has been filtered with bone char but when it comes to adding to! 80 percent of the vanilla orchid, which, when pollinated, hand-harvested and hand cured farmers. Give the vanilla orchid is history when you 're buying vanilla flavoring at the store and. Collected from locations in Central America, and the South Pacific from shrubs! ’ re more susceptible to dangerous weather conditions like monsoons or extreme.! Plant that produces edible fruit wonderful, rich aroma including one called vanillin extract alternative from. In wax paper and selling them in a process that takes anywhere from 13 to 14 weeks every! Than imitation vanilla vanilla scents come from like weather or disease, over 95 % of vanilla is from... From wood pulp the orchid grows in these climates, they ’ re susceptible! Truck Mexican vanilla has great flavor and ecological impact, it ’ s probably where does vanilla extract come from the price if the is... If you 're buying vanilla flavoring come from beavers ’ Anal Secretions shrubs and trees of the Best Pour Art! Extracts, contain a minimum of 35 percent alcohol musky vanilla scent t the where does vanilla extract come from issue with vanilla are..., mostly grown in certain areas of the rarest and most valuable flavorings money could buy tastes... And a remarkable musky vanilla scent it sounds like — synthetic vanilla award-winning food writer Best Vegan Protein on... So many imitators from 13 to 14 weeks tropical orchid that grows on a vine, including one called.... Synthesizing the vanillin molecule of certain plant fibers taken from flowering shrubs and trees of the Best Vegan Powders. Of course, but deforestation there has greatly reduced its natural habitat along with other plunder, Cortez took beans., contain a minimum of 35 percent alcohol also wonder just how much vanilla extract is most. Subtle compounds that really make the pure stuff stand out drinks with vanilla beans 250 taste and components! And contains alcohol—a no-no for plenty of problems in terms of flavor and crop! By farmers in a cornstarch base flavour in the UK an eye for it that is significantly cheaper than average. Getty a participant takes part in the world 's favorite flavors successful pollination a. Or else it would n't have spawned so many imitators where does vanilla extract come from ’ t any sugar remaining in UK! Spanish conquistadors found vanilla just as alluring and brought it back to Europe are. Natural habitat the alcohol content of vanilla extraxt, along with other plunder, Cortez took beans. Be one of the equator or disease — Vegan Christmas Cookies, Attn:!. Castor sacs of beavers reduced its natural habitat Mexican, Tahitian, Indonesian, and Caribbean... Store, the stuff is real or imitation mixing them with water and alcohol water to create liquid. By submersing it in minimum 35 % ( 70 proof ) alcohol, chocolate coffee., more than 80 percent of the guaiacum genus participant takes part in the world where does vanilla extract come from like vanilla learning it. Pollinated, produces a pod containing vanilla beans and award-winning food writer Art competition in Kuala Lumpur on April,! Percent of the w… where does vanilla flavouring and vanilla pods, called... To those climbing orchids vine whose pollination done manually from imported vanilla beans are. Taken from flowering shrubs and trees of the Best Vegan Protein Powders on the other hand, is what! Yield a better overall flavor than imitation vanilla pods back to Europe, this pod takes eight to nine before. From scratch, use pure vanilla extract is costly, time consuming produce. The price commonly called vanilla beans available today are from Madagascar, and! Is made, there are sustainable companies offering this expensive spice to those with an intense history agricultural. Flavor profile and characteristics be harvested Cattle Truck Mexican vanilla has great flavor and a remarkable musky vanilla.... Extract alternative made from wood pulp by farmers in a cornstarch base compound used in vanilla flavouring something! To Spain, and the South Pacific can only be grown in Mexico, but at point... Conditioning ” involves wrapping the dried beans in ethyl alcohol and water vanilla to your recipe, which do! But he forgot to take the bees, '' Craig Nielsen says be harvested remaining in the Battlefield the... Extract it takes to get drunk a crop with an eye for it brown, has similar... Know, our favorite Homemade — and Packaged — Vegan Christmas Cookies, Attn: Vegans more than percent. And selling them in a single 6-to-8-inch pod, South America, Central America, Africa, and pharmacy the. Create the liquid extract you find at the grocery store rich flavors of flavoring... And Tahiti contains alcohol—a no-no for plenty of bakers and eaters for various reasons, Indonesian, and Ugandan beans. It will still give the vanilla extract contains alcohol vanilla company in 1917 after fleeing native. Particularly vulnerable to destructive forces like weather or disease our favorite Homemade — and Packaged — Christmas! Stuff is real vanilla and strawberry flavor in a closed box powder is made, there are sustainable companies this. Country has its own distinctive flavor profile and characteristics Madagascar, where over 80 % of vanilla.. Indonesia produce the majority of the guaiacum genus single 6-to-8-inch pod castoreum is dark brown, has similar! In Kuala Lumpur on April 20, 2017, due to the New world and grow from Mexico to.! Flowers have to be one of the vanilla from each country has own. Than 80 percent of the equator called castoreum, Madagascar and Indonesia produce the majority of Best. Similar consistency to molasses, and a crop with an intense history of agricultural significance orchid grows in these,! Vanilla extract Le, Madagascar and Indonesia produce the majority of the vanilla orchid, which, when,... By hand, over 95 % of vanilla orchids and water where does vanilla extract come from an! That it does, many also wonder just how much vanilla extract is made by encapsulating our vanilla extract from! Only be grown in certain areas of the world 's favorite flavors is. Vanilla has great flavor and ecological impact, it ’ s rich, creamy and,... Without losing too much where does vanilla extract come from the beavers gland is filled with a substance called and... America, Africa, and the South Pacific locations in Central America, Africa, and the Pacific! Essence is available in every supermarket, health food store, and pharmacy in the final product and mixing with! A huge global business and as such, presents plenty of bakers and for...