About Vanilla Beans The flavor of vanilla is loved by millions throughout the world, and the best way to harness this taste is through using vanilla beans straight from the pod. With a delicate aroma and a subtle yet pleasurable taste, they can be combined with a number of different foodstuffs either sweet or savory to create an explosion of taste on the palate. Vanilla beans come from a variety of different locations throughout the world, but Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans are recognized by most professional chefs and cooks as being the ones that are of the highest quality. All of the vanilla beans that we sell are of this variety and this means you can be assured you are getting the best there is when you order through us. In fact, such is our dedication to quality, we wouldn't ever consider selling any other types of vanilla beans! So what are the characteristics of good vanilla beans, such as Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans? Well, there are a few different elements that you should look for, with the main ones being: A long and slender appearance. A skin that is tough and also feels oily to the touch. A deep black coloration. A strong aroma when the pods are split and the seeds are exposed. You should also not forget that, such is the quality of these vanilla beans, that both the seeds and the actual bean can be used in many recipes therefore when you buy Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans you are effectively getting twice as much use from them as you would from other varieties of a lower quality. Many people are often hesitant to use vanilla beans because they are unsure how to prepare them for cuisine, but the truth is that they are incredibly easy to work with. To use a vanilla bean, one can simply slice it down the middle while laying it flat on a surface. When this is done, all of the beautiful and aromatic vanilla seeds will spill out, but don't be tempted to discard the actual bean pod. In many cases this can provide more taste than the seeds and can be used in a variety of ways. One point that we will make is that you should nearly always cut the vanilla bean open before cooking with it, as this creates a larger surface area therefore leading to a much more effective infusion of flavor in the dish you're cooking. Vanilla beans can also be used over and over again, as they can be rehydrated after use as long as you haven't cut them into lots of little pieces! Simply place the vanilla bean into water and it will regain its previous form, and what's more it will still have a really strong and distinct flavor. Everyone making an order of vanilla beans from our site will receive free shipping and will also have them delivered in an air-tight container ensuring that they will arrive as fresh as the day they were picked. You should keep your vanilla beans stored in an air-tight container throughout the time that you have them, to keep them as fresh and as tasty as possible.