Madagascar vanilla (bean)
Weight 1 pod: between 4.5 ~ 5.5 grs. (18 ~ 20 cms).
The vanilla bean, one of the most exclusive spices in the world, is the pistil of a perennial climbing orchid, which only occurs in tropical areas with a temperature between 21 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Its high price, only surpassed by saffron, is largely due to the fact that all phases of the cultivation and harvesting process are done manually, from the pollination of the flowers, which must be done by hand, one by one, until their collection at the right moment of ripening. After harvesting, they are classified, scald and cured in sweat boxes, then dried in the sun and then allowed to stand on wax paper for two months, to develop their fragrance to the fullest.
Although vanilla is originally from Mexico, it is currently Madagascar that produces 80% of exports worldwide. Other countries have tried to grow vanilla, but have failed to undo the position held by Madagascar. In recent years and given that the island has suffered a multitude of natural disasters, crops have suffered damage with the consequent increase in prices..
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