How well can Vanilla really age?

Taha’a, Society Islands, French Polynesia


Hey see that name up there? Yeah, you try and say that on your own and you’ll understand exactly where Greg is coming from in this video.

Aside from having a deceptively difficult name to pronounce in the English language, Taha’a shares a reef with Raiatea and therefore the same volcanic soil.

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Which leads us to our next discovery. While here we found yet another major export of this country that didn’t include pearls or tourism. Polynesia is an authority in Tahitian vanilla beans.

With one pod of beans lasting up to 10 years after it has been harvested, several locals recommended we store a bunch of them in a bottle in alcohol to make a decade’s worth of vanilla extract. Every time the bottle gets low you just add more alcohol. There’s something about 9 year old “fresh” alcoholic vanilla extract that doesn’t quite excite us.

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6 Responses to How well can Vanilla really age?

  1. Mike B says:

    When in Rome, …

    • Greg says:

      but we’re not in Rome. Rome I can pronounce. We’re not there. Where we are, I cannot say. Not becaue I don’t know, just because I leterally can’t say the word 😉

  2. Anneliesz says:

    How do you say “I would kill for some fresh Polynesian vanilla beans to be brought back to San Francisco” Greg? My Polynesian is rusty…

  3. my friends and I just figured out how to make homemade vanilla extract using vodka. between us baking/cooking/using it a lot, I don’t think it would last forever in our home-yet not buying some generic brand for $$-and getting back to the good, pure stuff-that’s awesome. you should at least try to make some :)

  4. Greg says:

    Jen, making it not so big a deal but eating / feeding your kids vanilla from a 10 year old vanilla bean?

    …it gives one pause 😉

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