Tag Archives: How-To

How to Split and Scrape a Vanilla Bean Pod

Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla. The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning sheath or pod), and literally translates as little pod. Native to Mexico and Central America, the Aztecs used them in xocolatl, an early version of our hot chocolate. Europeans discovered the pleasures of vanilla when Cortez, the Spanish conqueror imported it in 1560.

Sensuously fragrant, and one of the world’s most popular—and expensive flavorings—vanilla beans are the fruit of a fragile, climbing orchid. Vanilla is the second most expensive spice after saffron, because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is highly valued for its flavor, which author Frederic Rosengarten, Jr. described in The Book of Spices as “pure, spicy, and delicate” and its complex floral aroma depicted as a “peculiar bouquet”. As a result, vanilla is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture and aromatherapy.

Scraping a Vanilla Bean pod is something easy, you don’t have to be intimidated by it – and not only the vanilla beans give your recipes an amazing subtle and delicate flavor, it shows that you are one serious baker! :)

Vanilla Planifolia Orchid

How to Split and Scrape a Vanilla Bean Pod

Instructions:

  1. Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise and then separate it into two sections.
  2. Hold the pod at one end and then using the edge of a knife, begin scraping the beans into a small bowl.
  3. Get as many of the tiny beans as possible and then give it one last scrape.
  4. Save the pod and make a batch of vanilla sugar.

With information from Wikipedia and  Beyond Wonderful

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How to Cut a Mango

Mango season is upon us!  We have a few mango varieties in Guatemala, which include the Tommy variety that you see in our photos. We’re showing you how to cut them properly so you can make the most out of this flavorful, juicy, vitamin C packed delicious fruit!

How-To Cut Mangoes

As soon as we get our hands on more of these, we’ll be posting new recipes… we still don’t know what they will be, but inspiration always strikes.

How-To Cut Mangoes

1. Cut off the mango “cheeks” – Hold the mango upright on the counter with your fingertips. Position your knife to one side of the center stem and slice straight down, hugging the flat of the seed as closely as possible. If you hit the edge of the seed as soon as you start to cut, remove your knife and rotate the mango 90-degrees.

How-To Cut Mangoes

Turn the mango and slice off the other “cheek.” You will have two big pieces of mango and the flat seed.

How-To Cut Mangoes

2. Dice the mango – Hold one of the mango pieces in the palm of your hand or upright on the cutting board. Using your paring knife, make long cuts down the length of the mango without slicing through the skin. Repeat with perpendicular cuts to form cubes.

How-To Cut Mangoes

3. Turn the mango inside out – Gently press the back of the mango to invert the fruit. Use your paring knife to gently pry or slice the cubes away from the skin and into the bowl. Repeat steps two and three with the other half of the mango.

How-To Cut Mangoes

4. Trim fruit from the seed – With the seed flat on the cutting board, cut around the seed to remove any remaining mango flesh. Cube the fruit without cutting through the skin and then pry or slice the cubes away from the skin.

How-To Cut Mangoes

How-To Cut Mangoes

5.  Sliced mango will keep refrigerated for several days or can be frozen for up to three months.

How-To Cut Mangoes