The history of Madagascar Vanilla

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Vanilla is one of the world's most famous flavours and aromas. As an essential ingredient in pastries, confectionery, ice cream and cakes, it is popular in almost every country in the world. In the early days, the vanilla bean was only found in Mexico and parts of Central America. In 1880, vanilla cultivation was introduced to Madagascar and the massive production that followed would change vanilla forever. Today, Madagascar vanilla is the dominant variety produced worldwide under the name "Vanille Bourbon".

At Sambavanilla we provide you with the best vanillas from Madagascar and in this article we tell you more about this must-have product.

How vanilla cultivation developed in Madagascar?

Vanilla was introduced to Nosy Be (a small island in the north of Madagascar) by planters from Reunion in the 1880s. Since then, its cultivation has spread to the eastern regions of the island, where the climate is similar to that of their region of origin. Vanilla orchids need a tropical climate with rainfall of about 2500 mm per year and temperatures between 20 and 30°C.

Vanilla from Madagascar has had the Bourbon appellation since 1964. Vanilla cultivation in Madagascar is mainly concentrated in a region known as the "orchid triangle" where all the right climatic conditions are present for optimal planting. It is also called "SAVA", which corresponds to the initials of the main production towns, namely Sambava, Antalaha, Vohemar and Andapa. In this region, producers work with great patience, as it takes years to produce quality vanilla. First, it takes three to four years after planting for the first flowers to bloom, then several weeks for hand pollination, nine months for the fruit to ripen, and a minimum of six months for the preparation of the vanilla, which includes scalding, steaming, drying and refining. This process is labour intensive and requires attention at every stage of production.

Madagascar vanilla: what are the benefits?

Madagascar vanilla has digestive properties. Indeed, vanilla helps the digestive system by stimulating the release of enzymes and alleviating abdominal spasms and stomach aches. It also has a similar effect to chocolate and can therefore reduce stress and anxiety levels. The various properties of vanilla soothe, relax and calm both the body and the brain. Vanilla is therefore highly recommended during panic attacks, times of grief or even depression.

In addition, vanilla beans contain vanillin, which gives them antioxidant properties. This compound eliminates free radicals in the body that cause skin ageing. Polyphenols also help to fight cell ageing and regenerate the skin, which is why they are widely used in cosmetics. To take advantage of their properties, consume vanilla as you wish. Whether as an ingredient in dishes or as an infusion.

Call on your vanilla sales specialist !

Our online shop offers you a selection of premium and gourmet vanillas from Madagascar.

Over the years, we have built up trusting relationships with producers who have been rigorously selected for their ancestral manufacturing methods and the quality of their organically grown products. They grow the vanilla beans themselves and guarantee us products of exceptional quality. Some artisans have been working with us for several years now and continue to introduce us to exquisite flavours.

For all your orders, do not hesitate to visit our website or to contact us for any further information.

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