Have you just bought vanilla beans and seen odd patterns on them? These markings are not to be confused with mold. You will see that they are not bug bites or any other flaws on the bean if you check a little closer. They are, in fact, purposeful markings applied to the beans by vanilla bean producers. Vanilla bean tattoos are the name for these alterations. In Madagascar, this pattern has grown increasingly prevalent. You might wonder why. Actually, it's fairly easy. discovering prices. Theft increased once the price of vanilla beans surpassed the cost of silver and hit a new all-time high.
Why Are There Markings?
The cost of vanilla has been steadily rising in recent years. The world's largest producer of vanilla, the island of Madagascar, has seen an increase in vanilla bean theft as a result of this. Beans are being stolen straight off the plant before they are mature enough to be harvested normally. Farmers had to come up with innovative and effective techniques to safeguard their crops because crop theft is so common. So began the enigmatic markings on vanilla beans. Typically, farmers will use their first names.
What Method Is Used to Mark the Beans?
Typically, farmers use tiny pins or other tools that are similar to but smaller than a toothpick. With these pointed tools, they pierce their initials onto each vanilla bean while it is still green and developing. The markings will become more obvious as the beans mature. Do they not have an impact on vanilla's quality, many people wonder? After all, the beans' surface has been punctured, so why would it improve the flavor or quality? Fortunately, other than a distinctive marking, it has no negative effects. You can enjoy the same rich vanilla flavor whether the beans are marked or not because the tattoos have no impact whatsoever on the quality.
Some individuals are reluctant to utilize the beans because, even after the beans have been picked and cured, the "tattoos" are still extremely noticeable and frequently resemble bug bites or other types of natural damage. The markings, however, are completely secure, and if you look closely, you can even make out the initials for yourself. So, there is no need to be concerned.
A Difficult but Important Process
As you may imagine, going through entire fields of vanilla only to make sure each bean is properly labelled is a pretty time-consuming process. Sadly, these are the time-consuming steps that farmers must take to secure their crops. Without such actions, widespread theft would continue to cause significant losses for vanilla growers, and consumers will also continue to be affected as more and more quality beans enter the market.
It's interesting to observe that the labor-intensive procedure that vanilla goes through before being put on the market only includes a minor portion of tattooing the beans. In the early phases, there is also the time-consuming human pollination process, as well as the drying and curing process, which can take several months.