Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Word of the Week: Vanilla
There's nothing plain about vanilla. It is the second most expensive spice after saffron, because growing the seed pods is labour-intensive. It has a complex floral aroma and is highly priced for its flavour. It is widely used in commercial and home baking, in perfumes and in aromatherapy.
In my recent trip to Bali, I picked these up from the local spice market. They smell awesome - I mean, to come home to a luggage smelling of vanilla instead of the usual dirty laundry or airplane smell is quite something of a new experience. I have since used them in a bun pudding as well as in the apple cake I baked last night.
Baking with something straight out of a plant beats any type of essence, pure, natural or artificial, no matter how highly you may esteem them.
See last week's Word of the Week.