- Country of Origin: Tahiti
- Alcohol: ~35% cane sugar
- Sugar: 3%
- Flavor profile: Cherry-like, licorice, or raisiny taste and floral aroma
- Quantity: 4oz
Tahitian vanilla (Vanilla tahitensis) did not originate in Tahiti. It appears that Spaniards brought vanilla plant stock to the southern Philippines, one of its colonial outposts. Vanilla planifolia was crossed with Vanilla odorata in the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries. This particular plant stock was taken to Tahiti in the early 1800s and planted in Papeete. Missionaries saw the vanilla growing there in the early 1900s and encouraged the Tahitians to grow vanilla for resale.
The original stock has been hybridized, creating at least five different varieties of Tahitian vanilla. Tahitian vanilla is classified as a distinct species as it’s considerably different in appearance and flavor from Bourbon vanilla. It is sweeter and fruitier and has less natural vanillin than Bourbon and Mexican vanilla. It contains anis aldehydes, which gives it a more cherry-like, licorice, or raisiny taste. It has a very floral fragrance, the bean is fatter and moister than Bourbon vanilla, and contains fewer seeds inside its pod.
Tahiti produces a limited supply of vanilla beans, and The Vanilla Company can only get a few pounds at a time. The vanilla plantations in Tahiti do not produce millions of pounds of vanilla beans, which takes them out of the picture for the major buyers of vanilla beans (ice cream producers, baked goods producers, etc).
Tasting notes: Tahitian Vanilla Extract has the sweet flowery nature of Tahitian vanilla beans. This vanilla is a natural flavor for any fruit-based dessert as it possesses a cherry-like, licorice, or raisiny taste. Tahitian vanilla is a baker’s best friend for any custard or cream. The complexity of this vanilla makes it different from regular vanilla.