Comoros Bourbon vanilla
In this article, we present the originality and specificity of our "Bourbon" vanilla bean from the organic agriculture of the Comoros archipelago (agroecological vanilla).
Before presenting the biological and ecological characteristics of the vanilla we sell, it is important to underline that the idea of creating this online shop was born from a real passion of our CEO, Mr Nour Fahad, for the Bourbon Vanilla. In the family of this gentleman, there is no age to work on the cultivation and production of the species vanilla planifolia.
As you can see on picture N° 1 (photo taken in 2001), he is surrounded by his father and a member of his family to learn the techniques of agricultural production of vanilla.
Let's come back to the article. As we announced at the beginning, this article provides the specificity of our vanilla but also some elements on its use.
Its vanilla beans are especially known for their superior organoleptic quality due to their high vanillin content. They are always picked green before undergoing a long maturation process lasting several months in the dark, to obtain the black vanilla as the consumer knows it.
1. From growing to harvest...
As a reminder, vanilla is an epiphytic orchid whose gustatory, aromatic, medicinal and cosmetic qualities continue to captivate the professional world of our time.
a. The plant
To grow, the vanilla vine needs a support for its development but also a warm and humid climate. In the Comoros, a plant called "Mdri mzungu", the Jatropha (scientific name Jatropha curcas) is used as shade.
b. Flowering and pollination
During the flowering period. All farmers like our father go to the field in the morning to do the "Ngaya" (fertilisation). This will last for three months. It is difficult and meticulous manual work. All the producers pollinate between 10 and 60 flowers per vanilla plant every day, which means between 3 and 8 hours of work per day. This great work is done manually, using a needle or a long lemon thorn.
c. Harvested green pods
After the three months of flowering, growers wait six months for the green pod to become a ripe pod in the seventh month. At this stage, the ripe pod can be picked. Hence the start of the harvest.
As a reminder, the harvested green pod does not yet give off any aroma. But to obtain our beautiful, fragrant, black pods, we have to prepare them carefully for another three months. This is what we call the preparation or treatment of the pod.
2.The treatment of the green pod
The processing of our freshly harvested green pods is done in four phases:
Phase 1. First, the green pods are placed in baskets or bags similar to rice bags and boiled in hot water at 85°C for a few seconds. This is the beginning of the processing. This is called scalding.
Phase 2. Then the green (hard) vanilla bean becomes softer. This is called steaming. "This process causes the vanilla pods to stop growing and triggers a chemical reaction that allows the flavours to develop, particularly vanillin, which accounts for 90% of vanilla's flavour.
Phase 3. Five days after steaming, the beans are dried. The aim is to "stabilise the product to avoid the development of micro-organisms and in particular moulds. The water content of the pods gradually decreases from about 85% to a maximum of 38% to 25% depending on the category" (as stated on the Planet-Vie (ens.fr) website).
Here in the Comoros, farmers prepare vanilla for the food industry. They dry the beans to a moisture content of 17%. This is why our vanilla can be stored for up to 5 years without any problems.
Stage 4. Before packing, we move on to the sorting phase. This involves sorting the vanilla beans according to size, moisture content, flexibility and colour. Each family of our vanilla is stored in a wooden trunk lined with wax paper.
It is important to know that before the box is put on sale, we first store our types of vanilla in ecological boxes, specially designed to preserve its aromas. The box is made of wood and filled with paraffin paper to limit the drying out of the pods as much as possible.
In the box below, the pods are grouped together and tied with raffia string to preserve their humidity.
"From now on, once you know about the cultivation and production of our vanilla, you can become our salesman and earn up to 50% of the selling price. No starter kit to become a seller with us! Just click on the blue button.
Biological characteristics of Comoros bourbon vanilla.
d. The pod and its biological composition
The biological composition of the vanilla bean is very rich in aroma and particularly in vanillin (see table). According to the scientists, the vanillin potential is estimated at 50 g per kg, 'which is a final yield of about 40%'.
La composition biologique d'une gousse de vanille
e. Where can we use our pods?
Our vanilla bean is intended for gourmet cooking, pastries, bakery... But it can also be used in alcohol (rum in maceration), to make ice cream, vanilla sugar and even to perfume your rooms.
Some of our customers (professionals and individuals) buy our vanilla and/or our spices to prepare birthday cakes, drinks... and sell them on this website.
No starter kit to sell your products with us! Just click on the blue button.