Vanilla? more precious than silver?
In my dream kitchen it always smells of vanilla. No other smell has such a warm, soft, comforting, all-soothing effect on my mood. Odors, the scientists say, are channeled directly from the olfactory nerve (the olfactory nerve) into the oldest part of our brain without any detours through annoying thought processes.
There in the limbic system, by brain researchers also lovingly? Reptile brain? called, the odors attach to the appropriate receptors and can shake deeply dormant memories and trigger entire cascades of thought images. The whole theoretical trappings really only interest me marginally. As soon as my olfactory bulb sniffs even the smallest amount of vanilla scent molecules, a feeling of well-being that can hardly be described spreads in me. Does anyone know that?
Christmas as an olfactory wellness oasis
With this fixation on vanilla as my personal smell favorite Christmas comes to me, of course, just right. A walk across the Kudamm reveals not only the classic Christmas fragrances such as cinnamon, mulled wine and cold sweat, but also an endless repertoire of vanilla flavors in every imaginable nuance. Even H & M smells of vanilla, whereby the scent is artificially produced there. From a clever air design, well-paid marketing strategists hope measurably positive effects on the desire to buy their customers caressed by fragrances. Vanilla and Orange are high on the list of promotional fragrances in this strategy. It seems to have worked for me. In addition to the actually targeted five-pack men's socks, somehow a Henley shirt has smuggled into my shopping bag. Or maybe it was Last Christmas? guilty of wham, who knows.
Other countries, other worries?
While the Christmas scents are blowing around our noses here and the biggest concern of many people is whether climate change will put an end to the romantic idea of dense snowfall on Christmas Eve in the future, the farmers on Madagascar are in a bad mood. Existential bad. One of her concerns is climate change. Madagascar is not only the island where the proverbial pepper grows, but also provides an ideal climate for the cultivation of vanilla plants. Of the approximately 110 species of the orchid genus? Vanilla? 15 subspecies are the coveted capsules (vanilla pods) from which the aromatic spice is extracted. But since the global climate is in turmoil, Madagascar is increasingly hit by devastating cyclones and groans under prolonged periods of drought. This means that the conditions for cultivating the sensitive and labor-intensive plant are getting worse and worse. Accordingly uncertain is the annual prospect of a harvest from which the farmers can afford their already barren existence.
A problem seldom comes alone
At the same time, the cumulative crop failures drive the vanilla price on the world market to dizzying heights. Currently, for vanilla beans of good quality, a kilo price of around 600 euros is achieved. For comparison: One kilogram of silver is currently available for just 480 euros. This makes vanilla the second most expensive spice in the world, right after saffron. And since our world is a reliable unjust, come from these 600 euros per kilo, only about 10 euros actually in the producers, so the farmers on. The high world market prices, of course, call on parasites and thieves, who, while shying away from the work with the vanilla plants, do not incur the expense of stealing their crops from the farmers. Therefore, during the growing season of vanilla, many of the farmers live on their plantations and defend their possessions with fists and machetes against the thieving gangs.
Of this whole drama comes in this country little. We may wonder why two real Bourbon vanilla pods in a glass tube, such as those used by Fuchs, Dr. Ing. Oetker or Ostmann are offered, suddenly so expensive, but that was it? There is still the possibility to switch to synthetically produced vanilla flavors. Although these do not reach the flavor quality of real vanilla, they are much cheaper to buy.
Madagascar Vs. the other growing areas
So far, there was only talk of vanilla pods from the growing areas of Madagascar, which account for about 50 percent of the lion's share of vanilla produced worldwide. Originally the vanilla plant originates from Mexico. However, cultivation there has declined sharply and accounts for only about 10 percent of the total volume. Much of the harvest is exported to the US. Other well-known growing areas are Papua New Guinea, Mauritius, Zanzibar, Seychelles and Java. The most expensive and intensely flavored vanilla beans come from the South Sea island of Tahiti, where only about 15 tons of the noble spice are harvested annually. However, this variety has the least of the familiar? Vanilla? Aromas and is mainly used in the star kitchen.
Appearance and storage
- A length of vanilla bean of 13 to 16 centimeters indicates a good quality.
- High-quality vanilla pods are from dark brown to black color, have an oily, slightly moist-shiny appearance and a leathery consistency and can be bent well. Hard and dry pods suggest inferior quality.
- Vanilla pods can be stored for a long time if stored appropriately. The storage is best done in a cool (15 C °), dark place with as good as possible Luftabschluss (Tupperdose, old jam jar o.Ä.). For longer storage, the pods should be briefly aired every two to three months.
- Vanilla pods can be frozen (individually packed).
Uses of the scraped vanilla bean
- Scratched vanilla pods should never be thrown away. They can be put in sugar, salt or tea in one piece to flavor them.
- The scraped vanilla pod can be dried and ground with a suitable mill to a fine powder. The powder is ideal for flavoring dressings or desserts. Supposedly a pinch of this powder gives a cup of coffee or tea a special treat.
- For the production of vanilla sugar, the vanilla bean powder is mixed with sugar in a ratio of 1: 9. This can be further processed in the mixer, Thermomix or a coffee grinder to powdered sugar.
Superb recipes with vanilla's supposedly on a website with the funny name? TheFruitAndFlowerBasket ?. It's best to just google it