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Friday, 29 November 2019 12:05

Why Sri Lankan Vanilla?

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Vanilla planifolia’ is native to Mexico and Central America, where it is still cultivated and it is one of the most expensive spice after saffron. Currently it is mainly grown in Madagascar, India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Tahiti. Rich, mellow vanilla has historically been used in sweet cooker, but is an increasingly popular addition to savory dishes, particularly fish and seafood as well as for perfumery and cosmetics production. In Sri Lanka vanilla is grown mainly as a home garden crop and has in both mid and wet zone. Sri Lanka produces more than 10 metric tons of vanilla beans and more in future. In Sri Lanka vanilla beans are cured using natural curing methods. Vanilla growers use their experience to cure vanilla beans as a quality product. The main chemical compound in vanilla is Vanillin which emphasizes a flavor and an awesome odor. Sri Lankan Vanilla contains 1.50% of vanillin which has a lower level than other regions resulting a gentler flavor and a smokiness. Vanilla grown in South Asia has the same features due to their unique climatic conditions. Depending on where they were grown and how they were dried and cured, vanilla pods will derive from one of three orchid species and have varying levels of vanillin and different flavor profiles.

The aroma and flavor of the cured vanilla bean/pod are the characteristics that determine the bean’s commercial value on the world market. To derive those good characteristics from a vanilla bean there are few steps to fallow in processing stages. Processing should be done carefully to preserve the maximum aroma and flavor as well as the physical appearance. Once the mature vanilla beans have been picked, they are taken to the curing and sorted according to their size and condition. Sorted beans are plunged into large vessels of hot water (63 degrees Celsius) and quickly drained. The warm beans are wrapped in dark-colored cotton fabric and after a day they are laid on slatted platforms to dry in the open sun for an hour. For about a week, the beans are left for two hours a day to dry in the sun and rolled in cloth between drying session. At this stage, the vanilla beans have become quite supple. For the next two or three months, the vanilla beans are spread on racks in the shade or in well-ventilated rooms to allow their full flavor and fragrance to develop. After the curing process, vanilla beans are sorted in an open airy place and graded according to length before they are bundled for shipment. By this time, their aroma is quite remarkable. By this technique naturally cured vanilla are produced in Sri Lanka where world market has a good demand for them. Over the years Sri Lanka is producing many various spices to the world with superior quality and taste as well.

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Read 4747 times Last modified on Tuesday, 25 January 2022 05:36
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