Variety of vanilla beans
There are many characteristics to a vanilla bean:
- Country of origin
- Wholes, Splits, or Cuts
Country of Origin: Vanilla beans are grown in the tropical regions and include Madagascar, Uganda, India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Tahiti, and Mexico.
Species: There are two species of vanilla beans. The scientific names are Planifolia and Tahitensis. Planifolia is commonly known as Bourbon (or Madagascar) and Tahitensis is commonly known as Tahitian beans. Planifolia is the flavor you would typically find in supermarket vanilla extract. Tahitensis is a mutation of Planifolia and adds a sweet, floral note.