Q.

How many pounds of fresh vanilla beans are used to make 1lb of cured beans?

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A.

A ready-to-pick vanilla bean on the vine is not a ready-to-use vanilla bean. Though they have the ingredients of greatness hidden within them, fresh beans don’t have much flavor or complexity yet.

In order to develop their unique, spectacular vanilla flavor and aroma, they have to be cured for anywhere from 40 days to six months. During this time they become black, wrinkled, and develop the raisin-like texture we all know and love. They also shrink dramatically.

Each pound of cured vanilla beans was once 3-5 pounds of fresh vanilla beans.

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