||Grade-A (pliabile, moist, oily)
||Bold vanilla, dried fruit, figs, molasses
||Dark, earthy vanilla, rich caramel, fruity undertones
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Welcome to Peru and to an entirely new species of vanilla bean. This beautiful Grade-A vanilla bean from Northern Peru is a Pompona bean, which means a few things. First, it's big...really big. Just 2-3 beans/oz normally. Second, it's likely the world's first vanilla bean. Indeed, the popular Planifolia bean today became more popular because of its ability to be transported and grown in new regions, while the Pompona has not crossed global boundaries as quickly. Most of the growing regions are the native growing regions of this bean species, namely Southern Mexico down through the Northern regions of South America. Finally, given its size, this is the only vanilla bean that is often still pollinated naturally by bees, since the orchids are large enough for a bee to move around inside.
(Vanilla pompona orchid)
The Pompona species of vanilla bean has an entirely different taste and aroma as traditional Planifolia and Tahitensis vanilla, but it's still in the vanilla bean family so its primary scent will be familiar to you. It will present a bold, classic vanilla base, but there will be stronger notes of dried fruit like figs, raisins and, is that a hint of a banana? You will also note the presence of molasses, caramel and perhaps a subtile coffee/mocha scent. It's truly a flavor and aroma experience all to itself.
(The country of Peru, right under Ecuador and next to Brazil)
These vanilla beans are not as prolific as the commercially-familiar Planifolia and Tahitensis beans. They don't bloom as many orchids, they take longer to mature, their size makes them more difficult to cultivate in quantity, so their global supply is very low. As such, the price for whole, grade-A quality Pompona vanilla beans is extremely high.
(The tiny, remote town in Northern Peru of Rioja)
After months (or even years) of extraction, your finished Rioja Pompona vanilla extract will present a strong vanilla aroma with earthy and rich undertones of molasses, figs, dried fruit and, of course, a sweet and bold vanilla flavor. This is a beautiful extract to add to your cooking arsenal with applications in pies, tarts, fruit breads like banana bread, zucchini breads, orange rolls, pumpkin spice and for a zingy twist in traditional cakes, cookies and more.
Our Rioja Peruvian vanilla beans are very oily and rich with vanillin. They are big, usually between 5" - 8" inches long and have a dark brown color. There may be just 2-3 beans in an ounce and, in rare cases, just 1 bean to an ounce.
VanillaPura vanilla beans are all shipped vacuum sealed for freshness and should be stored unrefrigerated in a cool, dry and dark place.
Pricing reflects current market conditions and will be updated as market prices change.