Vanilla is a magical spice with a taste and odour, which is impossible to describe. Used in different desserts and other sweet products. Also in the cooking it is wonderful, with its magic touch, it accentuate all the other ingredients in the dish. To be able to experience the whole process of vanilla is a privilege. It is hardly possible to describe in words, how big an experience it was.
We visited the vanilla yard - the place where the whole process is running, and long time before we had passed the gate, a delicious scent of vanilla where welcomes us. Inside the gate we saw a lot of people, who very determined worked very hard to make sure this product improved to its optimum. A craft, which really require its master. A lot of times during the process it's a question of minutes or seconds of accuracy, to get the just right product.
A vanilla pod is the dried and processed bean from the claiming orchid, Vanilla Planifora. The vanilla pod we are offering is Bourbon pod. The name refers too the way the finger is produced.
A vanilla plant is around three years old, before it is starting to flower and make beans. The flowers grow in bunches", but only one flower pr. the bunch comes out a day. Every flower is pollinated by hand and after nine months there is a green vanilla, which is ready to be harvested. When they are ripe" they harvest. This is very difficult too, because they don't get "ripe" at the same time. After harvesting they are shelved for 5-7 days. Then put in a mess tin (62-65° C) in exact 2 mm and 40 sec. They are then placed in "sweat boxes" (48-52° C) in 2 days and nights. Afterwards the are every day in 8-10 weeks taken out on blankets and placed in the sun for about 10 minutes, all depending of the temperature of the day. At the same time each vanilla finger is taken good care of. They are sorted in different lengths and gets a massage to spread the vanilla grains. Placed on blankets one by one to get the right shape. When ready they are bunched and stored in boxes, until they get packed for export. The organic vanilla is cultivated different places in Uganda. Near Mukono, Kibibi, Luwero and in comming season also Mityana.
The vanilla pod can be stored for long time, if they are placed in a cool, dark container without air. Not toocold, which will make the pod hard and it crystallize more than necessary.