Vanilla, the “queen of spices” has a long history of intrigue, adventure and magic.
The symbol of an entire aromatic tradition, its tale begins in the era of the Mayas and Aztecs, after which it found its way to Europe, to Bourbon Island before finally being introduced to Madagascar where it has flourished for over 180 years.
An attractive climbing creeper belonging to the orchid family, Vanilla Planifolia is the only orchid whose fruit is edible. It requires a support plant to create shade and grows in the damp undergrowth of tropical rainforests. They grow in bunches on the creeper and are harvested when ripe, before undergoing a long curing process, to become a highly prized spice.
The beans are left to dry for several months during which in flavour molecules are released during the enzymatic fermentation, generating the distinctive vanilla fragrance. Six kilos of green beans are needed to produce one kilo of black beans ready for use.
PROVA is the third largest vanilla extracting company in the world, ensuring it a leading position in its specialist areas.