Chocolate and vanilla are two of the most coveted flavors in the world, for good reason! I mean... they're both freakin' delicious. So after three years of focusing on our incredible chocolate flavors, it’s only right our new vanillas got the attention they deserve.
But what makes vanilla so special?
What is Vanilla?
Vanilla comes from the pods of the Vanilla orchid, asserting itself as the only edible orchid we know of. Flavors can vary based on the location the pods are sourced from, and the curing measures taken. With no two pods ever tasting the same, there are also over 150 different types of vanilla plants. We often hear of vanilla from the island of Madagascar, but most of the vanilla consumed actually comes from Mexico.
Nature’s Drama Queens
Without proper attention, orchids will simply die. If an orchid is not fertilized in the 24 hour period it blooms for, it withers away with no fruit to bear. Blooming season goes for roughly two months, in which multiple flowers open a few at a time over the course of a day, a small window of opportunity for a chance at a taste of that flavor we love so much. Cultivated a few times a year depending on region and growth patterns, vanilla pods are one of the rarest and most labor-intensive agricultural crops. To ensure harvesters can reap what they’ve sown, some farmers will give their beans small markings to prevent theft. Sorta like watermarks, but for flavors.
So we have the beans, now what?
Vanilla pods go through a three step process called curing. The first step is freezing. Second, make ’em sweat. Place them in a moist and heated environment of up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 48 hours then dehydrate the beans before sweating them again in an 18 day process. The beans are then taken out once blackened and set to dry for 3 weeks to 2 months depending on conditions and locations. Finally, the beans are removed once wrinkled and black and sealed in a container for 3 months to allow for flavor to stabilize in a process known as conditioning. Voila. Easy right? Demanding and arduous, but sure as heck worth it.
So Why Vanilla Milk?
Isn’t it obvious? It tastes of ambrosia, smells wonderful, and is good for the soul. It’s a light, creamy flavor that is noticed by those with exceptional palates, and as such, we’ve created an exceptional drink for our exceptional customers. More than that, it’s easily customizable. Wanna add a touch of cinnamon? Instant horchata. Maybe you’re feeling a little more green. Simply stir in some matcha for a quick and easy matcha latte. The options are endless.
For us? We wanted to make a protein-packed vanilla drink for the ages. 20g protein, 0g added sugar, lactose free, and that same rich creamy vanilla flavor you know and love. Vanilla is sophisticated and multifaceted, much like those who favor it. So, when you’re next looking for something to hit the spot or to chill out, maybe try our French Vanilla or Vanilla Latte.
More than a beautiful flavor and scent, vanilla has uses outside of tasting good. In some studies, it was found to have a calming effect reducing crying in newborns and aiding sleep apnea in adults. Unrelated to health, some chefs use vanilla in savory plates, often using it to cut the bitter acidity in tomato based dishes… you learn something new everyday.
The Slate Milk Squad
Written by Cassandra Catesson