Épices de Cru Vanilla - Papantla

£10.00

In a nutshell: The Papantla region of Mexico is the birthplace of vanilla. The beans have a classic fragrance of dried raisins and plums and can be used in all desserts. 

It’s been well over one thousand years since the Totonac people of Mexico undertook and mastered the complex art of transforming the insipid fruit of an orchid into a boldly fragrant bean that is now considered a necessity when cooking all sorts of sweet and savoury dishes.

Mexican vanilla beans, despite their rarity, retain an enigmatic profile. All vanillas contain hundreds of different aromatic compositions. Though Mexican beans contain very little vanillin – the unique composition copied to create artificial vanilla – they possess an aromatic complexity that is unrivaled.

There are many ways to use vanilla beans. Simply split the beans and scrape the seeds into your recipe. The split bean should not be discarded and can be infused in boiling milk to make custards and other milk-based desserts. Split and whole beans can be placed in a jar or bottle, which is then filled 40% alcohol or plain vodka and left to sit for a 1-2 months. We recommend 4 to 6 vanilla beans per 300ml of alcohol.

Split and whole beans can be used to make vanilla sugar. Simply place the beans in a jar with sugar and let rest for a few weeks before using. As the sugar in your jar is used replenish regularly with more sugar and the occasional bean. Never discard the dry vanilla beans as they will simply disintegrate with time. 

Details Each tube contains 1 vanilla bean

About Épices de Cru
Épices de Cru began in 1982 as a catering partnership between Philippe and Ethné de Vienne. Their mission was a kind of “cooking pot anthropology:” learning the secrets of family cooking around the world and applying these techniques to the needs of hungry Montrealers. The secret, they learned, was spices. Over the last two decades, Philippe and Ethné have searched for the world’s best spices, accompanied by their children, Marika and Arik. The de Viennes believe in direct sourcing spices: visiting growing regions, spending time with growers, and developing personal relationships that last decades. In 2004, they officially opened their first spice shop in Montreal’s fantastic Jean Talon market– it’s since become a mecca for foodies from all over the world. I first visited in 2008 and have been buying and using their spices on a regular basis ever since that first exciting visit. They steadfastly maintain that they do nothing original, only facilitating the exchange of culinary common sense from one place to another. But, what they do is simply quite brilliant - by providing us with the finest quality ingredients, and their superb spice mixes, we can all experiment with unusual spices and recreate delicious recipes from around the world.