Tasty Tuesdays Volume 29: Ritual Vanilla 70%
Did you know vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, after saffron? Ritual Vanilla 70% uses whole vanilla beans from Madagascar, where they regularly sell for $200-$400 a pound, depending on the year.
Real vanilla is expensive because it’s extraordinarily difficult to produce. For one thing, it flowers for just 24 hours, and if it’s not pollinated in that time, the flowers just call it quits and die (so much for patience is a virtue, huh?).
To capitalize on that short window, workers hand pollinate the flowers. It takes another 9 months for the plant to produce ripe vanilla beans. And after the beans are harvested, again by hand, they must undergo a multi-step curing process before they arrive at spice shops as long, fragrant black pods.
Since this process is so arduous, there are 10 pounds of artificially synthesized vanillin (the “main” flavoring agent in vanilla) for every 1 pound of vanilla in the world. So chances are, you’ve only ever tried the stuff made in the lab.
All the more reason to check out this bar :)
I finally know
what they mean by "Vanilla"
Would you like to know?
LOOK LIKE: Dark brown with bold geometric patterns
SOUNDS LIKE: (When breaking a piece off) A crisp snap indicates a high quality temper
FEELS LIKE: Smooth like a baby's skin after a warm bath
SMELLS LIKE: Vanilla (surprising, I know)
TASTES LIKE: Vanilla (again, very surprising). There's a certain floral quality to how the vanilla fills up your mouth
What We Thought
Would we send it to you?: Surer than Kel loves Orange Soda. In fact, this bar is on its way out to Tea with Chocolate tribe members as of this writing (shh, don't tell anyone).
Pairing Ideas: Try this with Emperor's Orchid, a scented green tea from Sichuan Province, China. Often times, tea will have an accelerating affect on the inherent flavors of a chocolate. That's the case here. While it's hard to miss the vanilla in this bar, taking a sip of Emperor's Orchid throws fuel on fire and makes sure you really know what vanilla tastes like.