what is oaxaca vanilla
Clubs of America | Mar 14, 2023
Vanilla is one of the most popular and beloved flavors in the world. It’s used in everything from baked goods to candies to candles and perfume. However, not all vanilla is created equal. One particular type of vanilla, Oaxaca vanilla, has a reputation for being one of the most delicious and sought-after varieties. Read on to find out what Oaxaca vanilla is.
Oaxaca vanilla, also known as Mexican vanilla, is grown in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The region’s warm climate and rich soil make it an ideal place to grow vanilla orchids, the plants from which vanilla beans are harvested. Its deep, complex flavor and aroma is what sets Oaxaca vanilla apart from other types of vanilla.
One of the reasons why this delicious vanilla is so highly regarded is because it is traditionally grown and harvested using methods that have been passed down for generations. Farmers carefully hand-pollinate the vanilla orchids and then patiently wait for the beans to ripen. Once the beans are ready, they are hand-harvested and cured using a slow, traditional process that can take months to complete.
The curing process is particularly important when it comes to producing high-quality vanilla. Vanilla beans need to be cured in order to develop their full flavor and aroma. In Oaxaca, the beans are typically cured by being wrapped in blankets and left to rest in the warm sun during the day, and then stored in a cool, dark place at night. This slow and gentle curing process allows the beans to develop their full flavor without becoming overcooked or burnt.
Mexican vanilla is also unique because it contains a higher level of vanillin than other types of vanilla. Vanillin is the compound that gives vanilla its distinctive flavor and aroma. These vanilla beans contain more vanillin than other types of vanilla, which gives them a deeper, more complex flavor. This is one reason why Oaxaca vanilla is so highly prized by chefs and bakers around the world.
However, Oaxaca vanilla is also under threat. In recent years, the global demand for vanilla has skyrocketed, and many farmers have turned to less traditional and more intensive farming methods in order to keep up with demand. This has led to concerns about the sustainability of vanilla farming, as well as the quality of the vanilla being produced.
Fortunately, there are efforts underway to preserve and promote traditional Mexican vanilla farming methods. These efforts include programs to provide training and support to vanilla farmers, as well as initiatives to help consumers better understand the value and importance of traditional vanilla farming.
In conclusion, Oaxaca vanilla is a truly special and unique variety of vanilla. The traditional farming methods results in its rich flavor and aroma. While the global demand for vanilla may be putting pressure on traditional farmers, there are also efforts underway to promote sustainable and traditional farming methods, which will help ensure that this delicious and beloved flavor continues to be enjoyed for generations to come.