On the vine, vanilla beans look like healthy green beans; when picked, they are flavourless, requiring a lengthy curing process to metamorphose into the slightly shrivelled, intoxicatingly pungent black pod with the volatile seeds bursting with that floral-sweet taste we know as vanilla.
It is one of the world’s most popular dessert flavourings, but chefs are now also using it to give individuality to savoury sauces and dressings. Natural vanilla has been described as “Nectar of the Gods”, and known for its mood-enhancing powers which many claim are effective as a natural aphrodisiac.
To get the lowdown on all things vanilla, we tapped on our food experts to share their knowledge on this fragrant favourite. Be sure to also try out our favourite recipes with vanilla in them to boost your libido!
Text: The Australian Women’s Weekly / Photos: BauerSyndication.com.au