Vanilla beans. Xanat, the story of the goddess of vanilla dates back to the 7th century in what today is Papantla, Mexico, near the gulf.
It takes approximately 9 months for this orchid’s seed pod to reach maturity. The “beans” are then harvested, blanched and fermented a minimum of “treinta días del sol”. The beans are laid out in the hot Mexican sun for about 4-6 hours a day and wrapped in wool blankets, straw mats and plastic tarps and stashed in special woofer fermentation boxes every day.
Each bean is inspected every day and checked for defects in appearance and finally graded when they have reached completion. Many vaineros believe that the beans must then “rest” for 6 months before they are truly best for use. There are beliefs in the huasteca culture that pregnant women should not tend to the vanilla plants because they require so much love that it endangers the well being of the baby.
Almost every vanilla bean in the world is a result of hand polinization EXCEPT a few regions where there is a small honey bee, the melapona, that still pollinates the orchid blossom. The blossom can only be pollinated the first day the blossom opens.
Our vanilla beans are certified organic. Extract can be made in many “folds”. There are very stringent guidelines to the volume of vanilla beans to alcohol to get “single fold”, “double fold”, “triple fold” and so on. This is why vanilla extract can be lighter in color and flavor and many shades darker with more intense flavor.