|Gourmet - Grade A
|7-9 inches | 17-22cm
|Vegan, Gluten Free, Halal, Non-GMO ,Kosher
|Bean Flavor Profile
|dark, earthy vanilla, notes of dried fruit like figs, raisins. presence of molasses
|dark, earthy vanilla, rich caramel, fruity undertones
|Recommended Extract Spirit:
|Vodka, Rums, Bourbons, Brandy
|Extract Making, Baking, Cooking, Breweries, Cocktails
Welcome to Peru
Peru is a fascinating place. Think the Amazon rainforest, the Andes mountains and even a coastal desert. It is home to ancient civilizations, many indigenous languages and is one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet. And what is more, they grow amazing Pompona Vanilla Beans that are very rare.
Peru is Unique in the Vanilla Bean Industry
Peru grows several varieties of vanilla beans due to its diverse range of microclimates, rich soil and favorable weather conditions. Many farmers still use traditional methods such as hand pollination that have been passed down through generations. Natural pollination due to the mastery of bees still exists too. Peru also has a strong commitment to sustainable agriculture such as organic and biodynamic farming practices, which promote biodiversity and healthy soil ecosystems. Peru's location in South America is central to collaboration with its neighboring countries and innovation opportunities in the vanilla industry to help ensure the continued growth and success of the vanilla industry in Peru and beyond.
The Pompona Bean from Peru
The Pompona vanilla bean, also known as the "Pompon" or "Pomona" vanilla bean, is very different from the Tahitian (Tahitensis) or the Bourbon (Planifolia) vanilla bean. Firstly, it's very long (up to 20 cm) and plump and has been given the nickname of “banana vanilla”. The Peruvian vanilla beans have an oily outside surface and are rich with vanillin. They are dark brown in color and have a moisture content of 30-35%.
Divine Aromas and Flavoring
The Pompona species of vanilla bean smells and tastes different too. The fragrance is certainly like vanilla, but it has its own characteristics: smoky, sweet notes along with the familiar mellowing fragrance that makes vanilla special. Pompona vanilla is high in heliotropin, which has long been used in the perfumery trade, but it is also an important flavoring for foods, and is reminiscent of cherries, cinnamon and, of course, vanilla.
It has earthy, spicy flavors and is better suited to savory dishes, working especially well with other bold flavors such as smoked, grilled, and deeply caramelized foods. In Peru, vanilla features in a dish called lomo saltado, a stir-fry made with beef, vegetables, and a savory sauce that is often infused with vanilla. Another popular Peruvian dish is arroz con leche, a creamy rice pudding that is flavored with vanilla and cinnamon. Pompona vanilla is truly a flavor and aroma experience all to itself.
The Vanilla Bean Rarity Index > Tribal Vanilla
These vanilla beans are not as prolific as the commercially familiar Planifolia and Tahitensis beans. They don't bloom as many orchids, they take longer to mature, their size makes them more difficult to cultivate in quantity, so their global supply is very low. As such, the price for whole, grade-A quality Pompona vanilla beans is extremely high.
The Vanilla Bean Rare Index classifies beans according to their rarity based on location, farmer and vanilla bean type. The Pompona Vanilla Bean from Peru is categorized as the rarest of all vanilla varieties, namely Tribal Vanilla.
Storage of Vanilla Beans
Vanilla beans should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container, separate from other spices. They should be kept away from heat, moisture, light, or air.
Over time, vanilla will generally lose moisture as it evolves. If you follow the above advice, you will be sure to be able to keep your vanilla beans at their aromatic best for 12 to 18 months, so that your vanilla is still soft when you come to use it.
The Pompona vanilla bean is highly sought after by chefs and food enthusiasts for its unique flavor profile and perfumers for its earthy and bold aroma. The Pompona vanilla bean is considered a luxury ingredient and is a bean, truly to be savored.
How to Make Vanilla Extract
For more information, check out our more detailed homemade extract guide
Vanilla Extract Calculator
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