Culinary uses of vanilla

Good vanilla pods are deep brown or black long and narrow,
 somewhat wrinkled, moist, waxy supple and immediately fragrant.
The best pods have a light, white frosting call givre of vanillin crystals.

Whole or split pods are used to flavor creams, custards and ice cream. The presence of tiny black specks indicates authenticity. A whole vanilla pod that has been infused in a syrup or cream can be rinsed, dried and reused.

Vanilla flavors cakes, tarts and syrups used for poaching fruit. Cut pods can be laid over fruit to be baked in the oven.

Vanilla’s original use with chocolate is still widely practiced and it also enriches tea and coffee.

Flavored Vanilla Sugar 
Rather than buy expensive packets of vanilla sugar, caster sugar can be flavored beautifully simply by putting a vanilla pod in the jar. 

Vanilla is less commonly thought of as a spice for savory foods but it goes well with seafood, particularly lobster, scallops and mussels and with chicken. It enhances the sweetness of root vegetables and in Mexico it is used with black beans.

Good with apples, melon, peaches, pears, rhubarb strawberries, fish and seafood cream milk and eggs. Combines well with cardamom, chillies, cinnamon cloves and saffron.



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