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Vanilla Pods and Rum


Vanilla, the pod of the vanilla orchid is prized for it’s rich smokey sweet flavour. Due to the highly labour intensive nature of harvesting the price of vanilla is high. I was shocked to discover that synthetic vanilla is made from artificial flavours derived from by products in the paper industry that are chemically treated. Synthetic vanilla is not the same as vanilla extract, which is a good choice. But again the rule that you get what you pay for applies, the more it costs is usually a sign of a better quality. If you buy fresh pods they should be soft, plump and flexible, air destroys the vanilla flavour so choose pods in glass tubes or bottles.
These fat juicy vanilla pods are Mauritian and this boozy looking island drink is rum infused with vanilla, absolutely perfect on a hot day. Create your own vanilla infusions by adding one juicy fresh vanilla pod to a bottle of vodka or rum and letting it stand in a cool dark place for at least a month, the longer it stands the richer the flavour will be. Also add a pod to a bottle of champagne vinegar and use it to dress salads, it’s subtle flavour is so good, especially with a fig and Gorgonzola salad.

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