While “Bourbon” is most widely associated with the whiskey, this vanilla is alcohol-free. Grown on Madagascar, Réunion this vanilla is commonly known as “Bourbon vanilla” after the former name of Reunion, IIe Bourbon.
Bourbon vanilla beans from Madagascar are superior, with flavor and aromatic qualities that make Madagascar vanilla beans the most popular and sought after vanilla variety. We use a proprietary formula, developed by our team of R&D Chefs, of pure Madagascar Bourbon vanilla throughout all of our bakery products, including our award-winning Manifesto Cookies and Bars.
“ According to popular belief, the Totonac people, who inhabit the east coast of Mexico in the present-day state of Veracruz, were the first to cultivate vanilla. According to Totonac mythology, the tropical orchid was born when Princess Xanat, forbidden by her father from marrying a mortal, fled to the forest with her lover. The lovers were captured and beheaded. Where their blood touched the ground, the vine of the tropical orchid grew. In the 15th century, Aztecs invading from the central highlands of Mexico conquered the Totonacs, and soon developed a taste for the vanilla pods. They named the fruit tlilxochitl, or “black flower”, after the matured fruit, which shrivels and turns black shortly after it is picked. Subjugated by the Aztecs, the Totonacs paid tribute by sending vanilla fruit to the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan.
Until the mid-19th century, Mexico was the chief producer of vanilla. In 1819, French entrepreneurs shipped vanilla fruits to the islands of Réunion and Mauritius in hopes of producing vanilla there. After Edmond Albius discovered how to pollinate the flowers quickly by hand, the pods began to thrive. Soon, the tropical orchids were sent from Réunion to the Comoros Islands, Seychelles, and Madagascar, along with instructions for pollinating them. By 1898, Madagascar, Réunion, and the Comoros Islands produced 200 metric tons of vanilla beans, about 80% of world production. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation, Indonesia is currently responsible for the vast majority of the world’s Bourbon vanilla production and 58% of the world total vanilla fruit production.”
*main image of vanilla bean bunch is courtesy of vanillaqueen.com