Épices de Cru Vanilla - Sierra Mixte

£12.00

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In a nutshell: These rare vanilla beans from Oaxaca have a delicate plum and peach flavour.

These rare vanilla beans from the state of Oaxaca are very different from other vanillas found throughout Mexico. Harvested from plants that grow to 1300 metres in altitude, before succumbing to a transformation that lasts for many weeks. The pollination of the flowers occurs naturally and without any human intervention, which is very rare in the vanilla growing culture. 

Before the arrival of Europeans in the Americas, vanilla was found exclusively in Mexico and Central America, and by then the Totonaque people had already mastered the transformation process. It is still the only place in the world where insects pollinate vanilla, naturally. Today,  good quality Mexican vanilla is not easy to find. Its fragrance remains incomparable.

These beans have a beautiful, oily sheen and aroma that permeates delicate notes of stone fruits such as plum and peach. 

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.