If you have never tried Tahitian vanilla but you like fruity, floral, flavors and aromas, treat yourself to this marvellous extract!
Tahitian vanilla (Vanilla tahitensis) did not originate in Tahiti. It appears that Spaniards brought vanilla plant stock to the southern Philippines, one of its colonial outposts. Vanilla planifolia was crossed with Vanilla odorata in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. This particular plant stock was taken to Tahiti in the early 1800s and planted in Papeete. Missionaries saw the vanilla growing there in the early 1900s and encouraged the Tahitians to grow vanilla for resale. The original stock has been hybridized, creating at least five different varieties of Tahitian vanilla. Unfortunately, not many Tahitians are now growing it, and as Tahiti is a French country and trades in euros, Tahitian vanilla is quite expensive.
Tahitian vanilla is classified as a distinct species as it’s considerably different in appearance and flavor from Bourbon vanilla. It is sweeter and fruitier and has less natural vanillin than Bourbon and Mexican vanilla. It contains anis aldehydes, which gives it a more cherry-like, licorice, or raisiny taste. It has a very floral fragrance, the bean is fatter and moister than Bourbon vanilla, and contains fewer seeds inside its pod.