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Our Vanilla Extract is made from responsibly sourced, certified, 100 % Grade "A" Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans and 80 proof vodka! That's it! Pure and Simple, High-Quality Ingredients You Can Trust!
We hand-split each bean first before adding them to the alcohol. The beans, seeds, and resin combine with the alcohol in the process of maceration, and aging begins. We agitate the solution every week and age the Extract for six months before bottling. By now the beans have given up all their flavor and aroma, then we remove only the inedible bean pods. Lastly, we bottle and seal in all that sweet tropical flavor in 4 oz. & 8 oz. brown glass bottles, as well a very attractive 8.75 oz. square Italian clear glass bottle with an old fashion wire bail and porcelain stopper you can display on your kitchen counter if you wish. Rich in flavor and color, our high-quality Bourbon Madagascar Grade "A" Vanilla Extract is ready for you to enjoy.
If you’re looking for only the best, high-quality, Vanilla Extract for all your baking, pastry, dessert, and beverage needs, look no further than Hunter’s HomeGrown 100% Pure Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Bean Extract and Vanilla Infused Sugar.
What exactly is Vanilla and how is it Grown, Harvested, and Processed.
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world today, after saffron. Vanilla is an orchid, a climbing vine grown in tropic climates. It is cultivated mostly on the islands along the Indian Ocean. With the island of Madagascar being the largest producer in the world, of the coveted Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Bean. It takes 3-5 years for the plant to fully grow and flower to enable pollination.
The process of self-pollinating the flower to produce the fruit seed pod and harvesting the crop is a completely manual process and very labor-intensive. After pollination, it takes about 6 weeks for the fruit to develop and another 7 months to mature. Harvesting involves a manual process of identifying the beans with the required length and color. Each region has a slightly different method of curing the vanilla pods.
Nevertheless, the curing of the vanilla bean pod involves a step-by-step process of Killing, Sweating, Drying, and Conditioning the beans. During the killing process, the green vanilla pods are immersed in steaming hot water for a few minutes to trigger the enzymatic processes that will form the characteristic aroma of vanilla. The pods are then quickly rolled up in wool blankets to keep the beans warm and humid (Sweating) for a couple more days. This process maintains an optimal condition for the triggering enzymes to function. The vanilla bean pods are then slow dried to about 30% moisture content, where the pods are exposed to the sun during the early part of the day and moved to shade during the late hot afternoons.
The beans are further conditioned by storing in wooden boxes for several months to increase the fragrance. Generally, vanillin, the main aromatic component of vanilla is less than 1% of the vine-ripened fruit pod’s weight, but the curing process could increase it to 2-3.5%.
Grading of the Cured Vanilla Bean
Vanilla bean pods are graded after they are cured, conditioned, and ready for use. The grading is based on moisture content, length of the pod, and lack of dehiscence/wholesomeness of appearance. High moisture content, long, oily, and dark bean pods with no splits/blemishes are given the highest grade, Grade "A", is the gourmet grade. The gourmet grade or prime grade/Grade A, must have a 30% or higher moisture content, and be 5.9″ (15 cm) or longer. One pound of beans contains between 100-120 pods. The grade "B" beans have about 15-25% moisture content, are relatively shorter, about 3.9″-5.8″ and may have been harvested before they were completely ripe, they are also allowed to have some blemishes or splits. One pound contains about 140-160 bean pods. The cured fruit (seed pod) with the vanilla flavor houses thousands of tiny, black seeds. The pods and the seeds are both useful for culinary purposes.
The Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Bean
Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla (Vanilla Planifolia) is by far the most popular of the three cultivated vanilla species (Vanilla Planifolia, Vanilla Tahitians, and Vanilla Pomona) because of its characteristic strong delightful aroma. The higher vanillin content, in addition to the long and intricate bourbon curing system employed by the Malagasies, set the flavor of the Madagascar Vanilla Bean miles ahead of the competition. Indicative of the high vanillin content, they may develop striking crystal-looking features on the surface as they age. The Madagascar Bourbon species is the classic and standard vanilla bean, to which all others are measured. Often, it’s referred to as the King of Vanilla.
Who regulates the manufacturing of Vanilla Extract in the United States?
The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A) regulates and sets the standards for all Vanilla extract produced in the United States. Their regulations and minimum standards require that vanilla extract must contain a minimum of 13.35 ounces of at least Grade “B” vanilla beans per gallon of extract.
You can Trust Hunter's HomeGrown to be the best!
At Hunter’s HomeGrown Artisan Snack Foods, we meet and exceed the F.D.A. requirements when making our 100%m Pure Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Bean Extract!
We only use responsibly sourced, certified Grade “A” Premium Bourbon Madagascar Vanilla Beans, containing no less than 35% moisture content.
Every gallon of the extract we make contains 15 ounces of Madagascar Grade “A” beans.
And we use 80 proof alcohol (vodka) as the carrier base of the extract.
The result is a superior, high-quality vanilla extract, rich in flavor, and deep color, that does not contain any artificial flavors, colors, or additives. Simply stated, we make one of the purest, high-quality premium vanilla extracts available.