Crazy good vanilla - tips and tricks

As with most foods, quality matters immensely. This is also the case with vanilla. Therefore, it is really important to choose the right type of vanilla for the purpose you have. There is a world of difference, and we probably all know the dry vanilla beans from the local supermarket. This is something else.

I learned everything I know about vanilla from Mette Ravn. I met Mette in 2019 because I used her vanilla for my pickled green tomatoes when I had the company Syltet.

Mette Ravn owns the company Mette Ravn Vanilje, and has her own vanilla farm in Tanzania. Here she has 14 hectares, where the approx. 40.000 vanilla plants are looked after and cared for by 50 employees every day. In addition, she sells the absolute best vanilla from all over the world, and it is naturally the vanilla I use for my cherry sauce.

In 2022, Mette wrote ' The Book on Vanilla ' , which is a must read. There is both a lot of good and useful knowledge about vanilla and 27 recipes from e.g. Ditte Ingemann, Louisa Lorang, Maja Vase, Torben Bang and me (Rie Schimmell).

About the vanilla in the cherry sauce

For the cherry sauce, I have chosen a fully ripe vanilla (also called noire fendue) of the Planifolia variety from Madagascar. It has been allowed to hang longer on the vanilla plant, and has thus opened at one end. Because it doesn't look very nice, the vanilla is picked earlier. I had never heard of this type before Mette told me about it. The longer ripening time gives a fantastic taste. It is fruity and floral, and has notes of red apples, pears, chamomile and an undertone of good dark chocolate. It goes perfectly with the cherry sauce, I think.

About the vanilla for the risalamande

For the risalamande, I recommend Mette Ravn's Tahiti vanilla. It is of the variety Tahitiensis. I have chosen Tahiti because it is fantastically good for creams! It is fruity and floral with intense notes of anise, tropical flowers, coconut and yellow stone fruits. The bean is thick and really potent so if you are going to use it in a recipe I would use 1/4 of this stick if the recipe says 1 vanilla bean. In my recipes I write which type of vanilla I use.

You can buy Mette Ravn's Tahiti Vanilla in my webshop here .


Storage of vanilla

The vanilla comes in an oblong glass, so I would just keep the vanilla bean in that glass. In order for the vanilla bean to last best, they must have a bit of air around them. But not too much, because then they will dry out.
When you make risalamande, scrape the grains out of the stick and finally cook the stick into the porridge. There is plenty of good taste in the bean itself.
If you're not going to use the bean after you've used the grains, store it away! You can freeze it and chop it in a mini chopper the next day, and use it for vanilla sugar. You can put it in white wine vinegar, then you have a good vanilla vinegar for dressings. Or you can put it in a glass with good, local honey.

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