F A Q
What vanilla variety are you producing?
All of our vanilla is of the Tahitiensis variety. Tahitiensis is the top tier vanilla specie of all vanilla varieties. With this title under its belt, Tahitiensis vanilla is commonly considered more superior to its popular and mainstream relative known as Planifolia or Bourbon. Tahitiensis is also more desirable than Bourbon vanilla due to differences in plum size, richness in flavour and powerful aroma.
How do you properly store vanilla?
Our vanilla products can last for many years if stored correctly. We highly recommend to all customers and vanilla consumers to store vanilla accordingly to get the best value in the long run.
For extracts bottles and paste jars - store in a cool dark place inside the pantry. For fresh cured vanilla pods – store in an air tight container and in a dark place inside the pantry. Do not refrigerate any natural vanilla products as this can cause the beans and liquid content to solidify and become crystallized. After crystallization, your vanilla stash may lose it quality and have a decreased effect in flavour for cooking.
Just like fine wine and many other spices, the quality of vanilla pods and extracts will be enhanced and improved over time if stored correctly. Vanilla pods are naturally designed to be kept tightly sealed in a container around a cool dark place to maintain its premium quality and aroma for many years. Additionally, whole pods that have been used in sauces or other liquids can be rinsed, thoroughly dried, and stored for reuse.
The difference between vanilla beans and pods?
Generally, vanilla users can refer to vanilla beans and pods as the same concept. We formally use both terms to represent our vanilla products. The only clarification to note is that vanilla seeds is the content within vanilla beans / pods.
Is vanilla a native plant to Niue?
No, vanilla was introduced to Niue in 1991 as a potential export product and has since developed into a high quality and lucrative export commodity. Vanilla orchids grew very well naturally under local weather conditions and have no quarantine risks or onerous bio-security compliance requirements.
How is vanilla made?
A vanilla plant is an orchid that grows around a support tree either on its own in the wild or in a plantation. Vanilla flowers are then expected to blossom after a period of 9-14 months of cultivation and regular maintenance. Once the flowers open, they are known to last for a minimum of one day where growers are required to pollinate the flowers on a daily basis. Pollination is normally done in the morning before the flowers closes and falls off the vanilla plants. The outcome of one successful pollination results into one bean, hence the iconic vanilla formula of “one flower forms one vanilla bean”.
How are the flowers pollinated?
There are no existing natural agents to naturally pollinate the flowers. This creates a very demanding task of manually pollinating each vanilla flower before it falls off. The size of the bean depends largely on how skillful the vanilla farmers are in pollinating vanilla flowers and how healthy the vanilla vines and plants have grown. This is one of the main factors as to why premium vanilla is considered the second most expensive spice in the world.
Potential threats to the Niue Vanilla Industry?
The flowering season is normally expected from the months of June to November however due to the effects of climate change, the flowers have started to blossom on an unpredictable year round pattern. Some months have been documented to have produced more flowers than others which may affect production schedules in the future. The other potential threat to vanilla cultivation is the cyclone season in the South Pacific Ocean. As low depression temperatures become more frequent in the region, Niue is expected to face realistic risks of increased cyclone activity that might bring the same devastation as cyclone Heta previously did. It is the one reoccurring risk that every Pacific Island nation has to be prepared for in every cyclone season.
How is vanilla harvested?
After pollination and the pods are formed as an end product, it normally takes 9-10 months for vanilla pods to mature and become ready for proper harvest. Vanilla pods are harvested when they change colour from green to yellowish brown.
Who is NIUE Vanilla International?
NIUE Vanilla International (NVI) is a privately owned family business that is based in the heart of Alofi North. The company is 100% owned and operated by Niueans to help promote Niue and it’s people to the international community.
What is NIUE Vanilla Organic?
NIUE Vanilla Organic is the official brand name of NIUE Vanilla International. All vanilla merchandises are processed, advertised and commercially sold under the brand of NIUE Vanilla Organic.
Who is Niue Vanilla?
Niue Vanilla is an entirely separate company to NIUE Vanilla International and is currently not in any partnership with one another.