Summer is just around the corner and it’s time for delicious ice cream again! Which flavor do you like best? Strawberry, chocolate or vanilla? Let’s choose vanilla!
Madagascar is one of the largest producers of vanilla in the world and is known for its high-quality vanilla sticks. Bourbon vanilla, which is grown in Madagascar, is particularly sought after for its unique taste and aroma. Vanilla is mainly grown in the Sava region in the north-east of Madagascar, especially in the town of Antalaha, which is known as the Vanilla Capital.
Vanilla plantations are cultivated by family farms and are an important export article of the country. The curious thing is that vanilla is a type of orchid and there are over 110 species of it. The vanilla beans are obtained from the flowers of the vanilla orchids, which have to be pollinated by hand to produce fruit. Pollination is a difficult process that requires a lot of time and patience, contributing to vanilla being one of the most expensive spices in the world. Unfortunately the plantations also have to be guarded, as the precious vanilla is often the target of thieves.