Many ingredients are used for cooking and beverages today, and the world is one enormous kitchen for someone to browse. Many ingredients and flavors are globalized, and a chef’s kitchen may have ingredients from every corner of the world available, from Tahitian vanilla beans and other gourmet vanilla beans to spices and fruits from Oceania, Africa and Madagascar, South America, and much more. Some bakers and chefs are those who work with high end ingredients and recipes, and these high end cooks are often working in the kitchens of resorts and luxury hotels. They may prepare beverages and meals for wealthy patrons to a resort or even to politicians or government officials, meaning that fine ingredients such as Tahitian vanilla beans, organic spices and saffron, and more are the order of the day. This is not some exclusive club, though; everyday Americans who have the kitchen, budget, and interest can buy many of these ingredients for baking desserts or making fine coffee drinks, too. When is it time to find Tahitian vanilla beans and other fine ingredients to cook?
The Power of Ingredients
Some fine ingredients are used in upper-end cooking today, such as vanilla, saffron, and organic ingredients as a whole. This is plenty popular, and more Americans than ever are on the lookout for organic and natural ingredients to use. As of June 2016, for a fairly recent example, some 68% of American consumers bought organic food at least once in the previous 30 days. Only 25% did not, and today, organic food is even more desirable for home cooking. What is more, some 76% of American organic food consumers typically cite the health benefits of such as food as a major reason to buy and eat it, and many professional kitchens and restaurants are doing much the same.
Organic vanilla may be counted among these ingredients. Vanilla, such as Tahitian vanilla beans and others, has long since been valued for its mellow but sweet and distinctive taste. In fact, vanilla often ranks first among ice cream flavors, even beating chocolate. Vanilla, in fact, is the only edible fruit in the orchid family, and that’s saying something, since the orchid family spans some 25,000 varieties and 10,000 hybrids. Overall, three types of vanilla beans can be found: Tahitian vanilla beans, Bourbon-Madagascar beans, and Mexican vanilla beans. Different types may offer different flavors, such as the buttery flavor of Madagascar vanilla beans. Pure vanilla, meanwhile, takes some time to create. According to the FDA, pure vanilla extract contains 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon during extraction. Where might vanilla and similar ingredients e used?
Cooking With Vanilla
Sometimes, people humorously use “vanilla” as a term for anything that is palatable but otherwise bland or unremarkable, a “starting point” for something else. But despite such jargon, vanilla is widely popular, and if were no longer used in cooking, people would soon notice. How might someone make use of this mellow but popular ingredient? Ice cream is one revenue, and as mentioned earlier, vanilla flavored ice cream is known for its white appearance and its gentle but sweet flavor. It’s not uncommon for some ice cream cones to be both vanilla and chocolate swirled together. And vanilla goes beyond ice cream; it is also popular to put in coffee, and many coffee drinkers add ingredients to their drink. Coffee doesn’t have to be consumed black; cream and sugar are common additives, along with cinnamon. Many of these creams have vanilla in them, and many coffee drinkers may relish the idea of a hot coffee drink with vanilla cream mixed into it.
Meanwhile, vanilla extract is too strong to mix into someone’s coffee or pour onto ice cream like a sauce, but small amounts of vanilla extract is useful for cooking. Many dessert pastries call for vanilla extract, whether a liquid or even dry vanilla beans, and such extract is useful for adding a sweet but not overwhelming flavor to any recipe. Many cupcakes, regular cakes, and more may involve vanilla extract in them, even if just a few drops of it. A home chef can look for vanilla beans and its extract at their local grocery store in the spices section, and find distinctive glass bottles with vanilla beans in them.