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Vanilla Bean prices are falling…please call for quotes! Freshly picked Vanilla Bean are odorless the distinctive aroma develops as the beans are dried and fermented. Harvested, before they ripen, from the plant Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla pods are then plunged into hot steam at 160F before being left to ferment for up to four weeks. After this time the surface if the fruit will be covered in crystals of glucose and Vanilin and the fruits themselves have become black from oxidization but are still flexible. The price on vanilla beans are on a upward trend and are not showing any signs of reversing the trend. In April 2000, a cyclone hit Madagascar (a major growing area) wiping out half of the vanilla bean crop. As a result most of the Vanilla planifolia flowers were destroyed, and Mexico and Tahiti’ s crops do not have enough volume to make up the difference. Adding to the Vanilla crop woes, it takes three year for a Vanilla bean to complete its production cycle. Because the crop is so short, growers are picking the beans before their development is complete. As a result, the curing process is not as efficient and quality begins to drop. Like any stone-stone, the longer vanilla stays on the plant, the more developed the flavor will be. Look for Vanilla Beans to continue to climb in price.