Bracingly distinct from the everyday planifolia variety, Pompona Vanilla is found only from southern Mexico through northern South America. Because it is far less amenable to high-yielding domestication than planifolia, Pompona remains exceedingly rare, sparking a degree of esteem even before asserting its excellence in practice.
These Pompona Vanilla Beans are foraged by hand from Vanilla Orchids in Veracruz, where they grow to roughly triple the size of their skinny planifolia counterparts, and are cured for twice as long. This process entails meticulously massaging each bean by hand to ensure that their oils disperse evenly once the beans have been pulled from the orchid. This technique, combined with the Pompona’s innate size, yields roughly ten times the amount of interior pulp and seed prized for cooking when compared to traditional Vanilla. The result is a fittingly intense, refined ingredient.
With an earthy and rustic character evocative of leather, oak, and allspice, Pompona Vanilla lends itself equally well to simple, indulgent sweets as it does to complex and layered sauces.
To preserve the beans, we recommend submerging them in vodka. Over time, their exterior oils will transform the liquor into a potent extract. On any occasion that calls for an elegant amplification of vanilla’s presence in a recipe, simply cut a bean lengthwise, scraping out the pulp and seeds. Outside of a vodka bath, we suggest storing in a cool, dry place, wrapped in parchment paper, in an airtight container - we do not recommend refrigerating, which will degrade the oils. As is the case with many fresh and wild ingredients, a little bit goes a long way, assuring that these beans and their extract will enjoy a considerable lifespan in the pantry.
This item is 1oz Pompona Vanilla Beans (~3-4 beans)