Vanilla beans are produced in many countries. Papua New Guinea vanilla beans are famous all over the world. Why? Here are five things you need to know about this product:
The History Of Papua New Guinea Vanilla Beans
Vanilla is a plant that genuinely came from Central America. Firstly it is found in the forest, but as people found it has a special flavor, they planted it. People use it for many kinds of food and drinks; thus, it makes the demand increase. But until the 17 century, vanilla planting was still done in a natural way. Natural way means to let the pollination happen with the help of genuine bees named Melipona. This bee only lives in Central America.
In 18 century, some voyagers visited Europe. They also bring vanilla with them. This journey introduces vanilla to Europeans and makes them want to plant it. They couldn’t do the harvest for many years because there was no Melipona bee there. European try many ways to help pollination, but no result. One day, a slayer named Edmond Albius found an easy way to help the pollination. As the process succeeds, the vanilla plantation found a new way to grow in Europe.
Papua New Guinea was colonized by Europeans. This colonization not only brought new culture but also brought knowledge about vanilla. European use vanilla in their foods and drinks. They must stay for a long time in Papua New Guinea so that it will be better if the vanilla plant can grow there. The climate in this country is good for vanilla plantations. The soil also gives it a floral flavor, almost similar to Tahitian vanilla beans. But the same bean also gives a taste like Madagascar Bourbon vanilla.
Most of the residents in this country live as farmers. Planting vanilla is not challenging to do for them. So that there are a lot of vanilla plantations growing until now. They supply the vanilla needs of the world, together with Madagascar, Indonesia, and some other countries.
The Plantation In Papua New Guinea
Vanilla plants grow as a vine with a green stem. The roots have two different kinds. The root that faces the soil will enter the soil to find nutrition and water. Those that are located on the stem joint will act like a hand. It just grows longer in the free air. But it will stick and twist if they meet another tree stem or the pole. This habit can use to arrange a short vanilla plant to ease the caring. People do this traditional method in many vanilla plantations.
Modern plantations are arranged by hydroponic method, where the vanilla plants are on the water’s nutrition. This nutrition water flows regularly to keep the growth of the vine.
Vanilla planting with seed will need about 1–3 years to wait until the vine gives flowers. But cutting planting will be faster. When the plant is ready, the flower will appear.
The vanilla flower has a trumpet shape. It has yellowish-green color. There will be about 15–20 flowers in a bump, but they don’t blossom together. This flower blossoms only a day. So that the pollination should be helped soon, we can help the pollination process by using the toothpick as a tool.
Papua New Guinea Vanilla Beans
The pods that produce in Papua New Guinea give the combination flavor between Madagascar Bourbon and Tahitian vanilla. Both sweet, creamy, and fruity-floral flavors make this product loved. Everyone has their own vanilla favorite flavor. Papua New Guinea’s product can use in fruit dishes, pies, beverages, and fruit sauces. There are many recipes that use vanilla beans from Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea vanilla beans can harvest after 6–9 months. The sign is when appearing yellow color in the bottom of the pods. Pick the pods with a cutter and collect them for the post-harvest treatment.
Harvesting vanilla too soon will decrease the chemical compound in the pods. This means it has less flavor than the ripe one. Late harvesting will make the pod break and lose the seed.
The Post Harvest Treatment
Papua New Guinea vanilla beans are usually sold in dry beans or as an extract. The harvested pods need post-harvest treatment such as drying, soaking in hot water, storing, drying more, storing, and drying again until the vanilla flavor appears. This process may take time until 7–9 months. The posted product is vanilla beans in black color.
People buy these vanilla beans and keep them in storage. But others prefer to buy the extract. Some producers make vanilla extract by soaking the vanilla beans in alcohol for months. This will create a strong vanilla flavor.
Papua New Guinea vanilla beans are one of the best vanilla in the world. Vanilla beans can use for many purposes, such as foods, drinks, desserts, cosmetics, body care, and perfumes.