Following on from the recent blog post regarding The Garlic Farm, the next store cupboard essential was to source and buy was some vanilla pods.
I do frequently use vanilla in a number of desserts such as Pannacotta, Crème Brûlée or straightforward custard. I prefer using vanilla pods, rather than vanilla essence, as I think that the presence of the tiny black vanilla seeds makes the dish so much more appealing. The downside is that buying vanilla pods from the supermarket can be very expensive. Two small pods costing in the region of £4 – £5 and both used in one dish.
I recently discovered a company selling vanilla via the internet. Vanilla Mart offer 10 premium pods for £5.25, 20 pods for £9.00 or 50 pods for just £16.50. Even more discounts for larger quantities and postage for all orders, is free.
I ordered 50 pods from Vanilla Mart on Tuesday and they turned up today, only 3 days later. I’m delighted to report that they were approximately 20cm (8 inches) lon, twice the size of the supermarket variety, and felt soft and juicy. If their aroma is anything to go by, they will be full of flavour too.
It looks like guests at our dinner parties will be subjected to a variety of vanilla based desserts for some time to come – not that anyone has complained in the past.
Note to self – I must upload some of my favourite recipes soon.