Vanilla (Sunday Scribblings)

Peckapalooza over at The Confusing Middle runs a weekly prompt called Sunday Scribblings. Check out his post and join in the creativity!

Sunday Scribblings #106 — Vanilla

I once received a ‘fresh’ vanilla bean (not exactly sure how fresh it was but it was a whole vanilla bean provided to me directly from a flavor house before processing so it was much fresher than the extracts I was used to in the kitchen). It was from Madagascar and super expensive (I was told). It’s aroma and later it’s flavor when baking totally transformed my understanding of what vanilla really is. The highly processed extracts are made to uniform taste specifications, but the real bean is dynamic with complex notes of flavor. One could easily become a student of the vanilla bean much the same way some are of cocoa and coffee beans. I liken it to the difference between a supermarket tomato versus one fresh from the garden. They are distant relatives of each other sharing a name but little else. The supermarket tomato is tasteless and slightly moist at best. The garden tomato is a burst of flavor and dripping with juices. I grew up with the garden variety and have gotten to the point where I avoid the supermarket variety at all costs unless it’s to be cooked down into a red pasta sauce or something.

Sex. “Vanilla sex” to be specific. What? Too abrupt of a change in gears for you? Do you prefer a more subtle and smooth transition from the introduction into the main event. Sorry, I should have asked first.

Have you been accused (or perhaps labeled yourself) as a “vanilla sex” type of person? Well consider this. When kept fresh, vanilla can be a very rich experience. It’s only when it’s processed and becomes uniform does it become monotonous and boring. So don’t be shy to introduce some fresh vanilla into your life. If your not into all the other types of beans available there is absolutely nothing lacking in vanilla. If you pay attention to each of nuances and notice all of the complexities, every vanilla bean is unique and beautifully delicious.

Of course, if you enjoy cocoa, coffee, or any other beans, they are wonderful as well.

Be well,


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