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About Niue Vanilla

Niue vanilla, the Tahitian strain from French Polynesia

Niue - map
Niue - map

The variety grown on Niue Island is Vanilla Tahitensis

Genetic analysis shows that this vanilla species is possibly a cultivar from a hybrid-cross of V. planifolia and V. odorata. Vanilla Tahitensis is also grown in Tahiti and the Cook Islands.

Tahitian vanilla is sweeter and fruitier, and has less natural vanillin than Bourbon and Mexican vanilla. Instead, it contains heliotropin (anis aldehyde), which is unique to its species. This gives it a more cherry-like, licorice, or raisiny taste. It has a very floral fragrance, the bean is fatter and moister than Bourbon vanilla, and the Niue strain has ample seeds inside its pod.

The Tahitian strain is especially nice in fruit compotes and desserts, as well as in sauces for poultry, seafood and wild game. Tahitian vanilla has always been more expensive than Mexican and Bourbon vanillas. This is especially true now as it is less readily available.

Vanilla farming is at family plantation level

The small gardens, often near the family home, can be tended conveniently, while there are some larger farms that are more commercially oriented. Because of the amount of time that elapses between growing and selling, the farmers sell their crop to the curer and are paid at the farm gate. The curer may take up to five months to achieve a full cure, and at that stage the pods are sold on the open market or to a value added producer like Koefaga.

The vanilla pods take nine months to mature

Production of vanilla is seasonal and the Niue crop is very small by international standards. Once the main crop is harvested and cured, that's it for a year until the next main harvest comes around.

This is the time to have in your pantry, pods, vanilla extract and vanilla paste to deliver the 'must have' vanilla flavour and aroma year round.

The small volumes produced on Niue make vanilla quite an exclusive product, one Koefaga is proud to be part of.

While our main production is done in New Zealand, should you be fortunate enough to visit Niue, our range is also hand made on Niue and can be taken home with you.

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Koefaga Vanilla
PO Box 201
Motueka 7143

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