About Our Vanilla

Vanilla beans

The answer is simple: quality ingredients make quality products

Madagascar's vanilla beans are considered to be the gold standard for quality spice in this world.

This small island off the coast of Africa has nearly perfect growing conditions for vanilla plants due to its humid climate (which creates rich soils). The Sava region specifically produces most world-class quality beans; it's no wonder this spice is so special!

The Vanilla bean is originally from Mexico, and while the conditions are arguably better for growing the pods in Madagascar, there are no natural pollinators to keep the plants producing its valuable fruit.

Each flower must be delicately pollinated by hand.

How was this pollination technique discovered?

In 1841, slavery was unfortunately still commonplace in Madagascar. During this time 12-year old slave named Edmond Albius figured out how to carefully join the male and female parts of flower together with his whittled stick. He created this technique so that he could grow prized vanilla bean which had been grown on Reunion Island for centuries before it was discovered by French settlers in 1773. The method is still referred today as “le geste d’Edmound" or "the actof ed mild."

It takes a vanilla orchid vine almost three years to begin producing flowers. When the orchids finally form, they only bloom for less than 24 hours. This means farmers must monitor their vines closely in order to hand pollinate them within this time frame. Once pollinated, a vanilla orchid will produce just a single vanilla bean. This bean will grow for approximately six months before they are ready for harvest.

Curing Vanilla Beans

Curing vanilla beans

After being harvested, green vanilla beans go through a process of curing that allows them to develop their signature flavor. For roughly 30 days the beans are dried in the sun, and covered with blankets and night. To ensure even curing, the beans are massaged regularly throughout this process. 

After the beans have cured, they are ready for packaging and processing to turn them into the products we know and love. We packaged all of our Vanillablossom products by hand. Click here to view our vanilla products!

How is Vanilla Extract made?

Vanillablossom Vanilla Extract is made by soaking vanilla beans in a mixture of water and ethyl alcohol. This process brings out the "vanillin" and the approximately 200 other flavour molecules in the beans, which results in that signature vanilla flavour. Check out our Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract here.

All of our products are made and packaged in our facility in beautiful Victoria, BC, Canada.