Vanilla curing: last stop
Grading and quality - go for broke!
The length of the beans determine the grade, and this may seem arbitrary, but the aroma and vanillin content of the beans are directly correlated with the length.
So, generally speaking, the longer the bean the more vanillin and aroma it will have. So go for broke and get that big juicy vanilla bean next time!
Vanilla curing: 👨🏫👩🏫👨🏫
Step 4: Sorting and grading the best of the best
Once the vanilla curing process is complete, the beans are graded and sorted according to length.
Grade I (or grade A): >15 CM
Grade II: 10 - 15 CM
Grade III: <15 CM
This is from a small vanilla producer in Vera Cruz that is one of our suppliers. We plan to have both vanilla extracts and delicious fresh vanilla beans from Vera Cruz. Are there any other vanilla products you would like us to have?
Vanilla curing: 🕛🕑🕝⠀
Step 3: slow drying those wrinkly beans⠀
While this step is often confused with the sweating and sun-drying step, slow-drying is something different entirely. ⠀
The vanilla beans are placed in a room with good ventilation and fairly high humidity, and left to dry up to 35 days (depending on country and producer).⠀
Upon completion of this step the vanilla beans will be very close to their final appearance, as they are a slightly shiny brown with a delectable aroma.⠀
The final step in the curing process is the final conditioning. The beans are put in wax lined boxes, and left for an additional 2 months. This leaves the vanilla ready to be used, having lost 70-85% of their weight compared to fresh green vanilla beans.
The sweetest of sweet potatoes.
Another one of those vegetables you didn't know originated in Mexico. Sweet potatoes are believed to hail from somewhere between the Yucatan peninsula and Venezuela.
Hmmm, maybe we should make a sweet potato hot sauce?
Oranges 🍊 oranges 🍊
Our favorite street in Monterrey has everything you need, but we love the oranges from the streets around Mercado Juarez.
Peanuts in Monterrey. 🥜🥜🥜 When we were in Monterrey to meet with one of our potential vanilla producers, we of course spent some time at the markets. Although not as big as those in CDMX or Oaxaca, we loved it even so, and still do.
Avete mai provato la cucina libanese? Noi la adoriamo! 😍 #zeroventiquattro
The coolest looking chocolate croissant/pain au chocolat... filled with TONS of chocolate ganache too 🤤
Monday was Steve’s first day at work, over an hour commute away on the other side of the country, so it was a good day for me to organize and regroup, and upon his return early evening, we headed to Le Pave’ for moules frites and Sancerre followed by dark chocolate cake with some coffee ice cream (my kind of french hygge) in Gråbrødretorv, a charming residential neighborhood hosting several culturally diverse restaurants, overlooking a huge Christmas tree in its central plaza. #Gråbrødretorv
Amaranth farm in Oaxaca.
Amaranth is an ancient grain that has been cultivated for more than 8000 years that is now in the middle of a resurgence as a highly nutritious 'superfood'. Amaranth was once a staple food for the Aztecs, but was 'outlawed' by the Spanish upon their conquest of Aztec territory.
Fortunately amaranth grows like weeds in parts of Mexico and is a highly sturdy crop, so many strains of amaranth still exist in the wild. As an added plus it's also a highly sustainable plant.