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Old 04-09-2008, 05:19 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
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Default Tahitian versus Bourbon vanilla

Its quite often vanilla is dicussed in this forum as many of us use it for infusions etc. And sometimes i get the question what the difference is between Madagascar/Bourbon and Tahitian beans. I usually say that the Tahitian beans are more moist, oily, pliable and floral but here is also an explanation as to why they are:

Planifolia beans, commonly known as Madagascar Bourbon, is the taste most people are familiar with. Vanilla Extract that you would normally buy at the supermarket is usually made with Madagascar beans.Tahitian beans also contain heliotropin, an organic compound that imparts a sweet, floral, fruity flavor.

For Madagascar and Tahitian vanilla beans, there are two grades that are most commonly available to the consumer. The better grades are sometimes referred to as Gourmet, Prime, or Grade A. These are the beans that professional chefs prefer for cooking and contain more moisture than the extract grade beans, and are oily. The extract grade beans, sometimes referred to as Grade B, are fine for making extract or cooking.
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