Vanilla Beans

Vanilla Beans


Dried Vanilla Pods - Single & Wholesale Bulk Vanilla Beans for Baking & Cooking

Types of Vanilla Beans

OliveNation carries a wide variety of different vanilla bean varieties, because vanilla develops different flavor profiles depending on where it's grown and harvested. OliveNation vanilla beans are chosen from the finest varieties and include a full range of flavor profiles.

Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans are among the most well-known varieties, and are grown on Madagascar and other South Pacific islands. Think of these classic vanilla beans as all-purpose. Bursting with sweet and creamy flavor, Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans boost the taste of sweet desserts and savory dishes. We especially like the beans for baking because they hold their flavor in the finished baked goods. These beans are wonderful in custards, ice creams, and savory sauces.

Any vanilla beans can be used for making your own vanilla extract, although some people prefer to use Extract Grade (also called Grade B) beans for economy. Extract grade beans are generally thinner and drier than other vanilla pods because they contain less water. But when it comes to making extracts, the less moisture, the better. We recommend our grade A pre-chopped Madagascar Vanilla Beans or our short organic Madagascar vanilla beans for ease of use as well as delicious flavor in homemade vanilla extract.

Indonesian Vanilla Beans have a smoky, woody flavor. They're great for rich desserts, especially chocolate. They also taste delicious in cookies, fruit pies, and jams. Bonus: our Indonesian vanilla beans are organic.

Mexican Vanilla Beans have sweet and creamy flavor with a hint of spice. These versatile seed-filled pods work wonders in cooking and baking. Mexican Vanilla Beans go well with cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices. They're also delicious with chocolate and chilies. Try Mexican vanilla pods in barbecue sauce, salsa, chocolate cake, and ice cream.

Tongan Vanilla Beans are harvested from Tonga, which is a group of islands in the South Pacific. These Bourbon-variety vanilla beans grow in rich soil, resulting in a bold-flavored seed pod. These beans have a delicately complex profile, intense aroma, and sweet taste. Try Tongan Vanilla Beans in rich desserts like custards and ice creams. They're also ideal for flavoring savory or fruity sauces.

what is the difference between different vanilla bean types

The Many Uses of Vanilla Beans

Anyone who uses vanilla beans knows what wonderful flavor they impart to dishes. But, after the first use, vanilla pods can be still be used in making vanilla sugar and for flavoring coffee. To make the vanilla sugar, dry the beans after use then break them into two or three pieces. Add to a pint of sugar and let sit for about a week or two. When your sugar is finished, then wipe off the pods, grind them finely and add to freshly ground coffee beans for vanilla flavored coffee.

How to Prepare Vanilla Beans?

Place the whole vanilla beans on a sheet of wax paper or a clean, flat cutting surface. Carefully slice from the center of each dried vanilla pod towards each end and open the split bean. Gently scrape out the seeds with a knife.

How to Use Vanilla Beans?

Substitute one teaspoon of vanilla extract with one vanilla pod. You can also use whole pods or pods without the seeds to make vanilla sugar that can be used to sweeten lattes and espresso or in cake and cookie recipes.

How to Store Vanilla Beans?

Keep vanilla beans fresh by putting the beans into a sealable plastic bag and storing them in an air-tight container. Keep the container in a cool, dry location away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. It is best to never refrigerate or freeze vanilla beans, as the cold conditions can lead to moisture, mold, or reduced shelf life.

If you find that over time the beans become dry, don't discard. Simply reconstitute them in a warm liquid before you attempt to cut them open and remove the dark black seeds from the pod. You can also grind the dry beans and add a teaspoon or so to your favorite coffee grinds for a wonderful vanilla coffee.

What is That White Frosting on the Vanilla Bean?

Over time, dried vanilla beans can develop natural vanillin crystals that form what looks like a white frosted coating on the bean. These white crystals are a sign that the vanilla beans are high in vanillin and are excellent in quality. Don't worry about cleaning the bean since these crystals are quite edible and very flavorful and do not need to be removed prior to use.

To make certain the crystals are not mold or mildew a simple test will confirm the presence of vanillin. Place the beans into sunlight. The crystals should create multiple colors. If the white coating is mildew the beans will have a dull and flat appearance in sunlight. Mildewed beans should be discarded, since they may give an off taste to your finished product if used.

How to Make Vanilla Extract

The ingredients are 3-5 beans, a cup of vodka or alcohol, glass jar or bottle. Split the seed pods as described above but do not remove the seeds. Put the vanilla beans in the glass jar and cover completely with the vodka or alcohol. Make sure the lid is airtight. Set aside in a cool dark place for 6-8 weeks. Give the jar a good shake once a week.

Why Buy Vanilla Beans in Bulk?

Buying vanilla beans in bulk, especially high quality vanilla beans is a great way to reduce ingredient expenses, especially at scale. Professional bakeries, restaurants, and food manufacturers generally purchase in bulk to take advantage of savings. OliveNation also offers a special discount for wholesale purchases and bulk orders.

Where to Buy Vanilla Beans?

Online at OliveNation, of course! We offer a wide selection of vanilla pods for sale to meet different flavor profiles and usage needs. Buy one bean for home use, or order in bulk for commercial applications — our easy ordering process makes it a snap to purchase.