From The Field Trading Company - Know Your Beans
  • Natural vanilla beans contain approximately 250 compounds—adding complexity and depth of flavor to recipes. Artificial vanilla products, on the other hand, usually contain only one of these compounds - vanillin.

  • Vanilla is an orchid and is a very labor-intensive crop to produce. In Madagascar there are no natural pollinators of vanilla, so each flower must be pollinated by hand on the day that it blooms.

  • The compounds in natural vanilla do more than make food delicious: they have been linked to a variety of other benefits, including use as an aphrodisiac, anti-aging agent, appetite suppressant, serotonin enhancer, and as an anti-oxidant.

  • Not all beans are created equal: at FTF, we work with small farmers who cultivate their vanilla using traditional forest systems, intercropping vanilla vines with cloves, coffee, food crops, fruit trees, and native hardwood species. These unique systems promote healthy soils, water systems, and climates, and differ from the plantation models found in other regions in Madagascar.


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