Vanilla pods actually improve with time. However it is important to store these pods correctly. Whilst Vanilla stored correctly will last almost indefinitely, you should use the pods purchased by the best before date on the pack (ranges from 1 to 3 years).
You will need to follow a few simple steps:
- Our Vanilla Pods are packed in food-grade foil bags. On receipt, open packs and remove pods to store in a cool, dry place away from heat and light ideally in an airtight container, preferably glass. If storing for longer, wrap in cling film (ensuring all air has been squeezed out) and check pods regularly. Vanilla Pods should NOT be refrigerated.
- Stored Vanilla needs constant airing. Remove the pods from the airtight container and expose to air for at least 15 minutes. It also helps if you massage the Vanilla pods lengthwise by hand during this period as this helps to disperse the vanilla seeds inside. Ensure that your hands are clean. After airing, rewrap and place the pods into the airtight container. You should do this at least 4-6 times per year.
- You might notice white frosting/crystals on the pods. This is a perfectly normal occurrence. The white frosting/crystals are actually Vanillin crystals and may form from time to time. However, please note that incorrect storage can also result in the formation of mildew or fungus. To ascertain if the discolouration is due to Vanillin Crystals or Mildew/Fungus, firstly, you should smell the affected pod to check for any odour and secondly hold the pod against natural sunlight. If the pod smells rotten and does not reflect the visible light spectrum (colours of the rainbow) the affected pods should be discarded as this can spread to the uninfected pods.
- If any of the pods are dried, do NOT throw these away. Instead, try rehydrating them by immersing in warm milk or lukewarm water for a few hours to revive the pods as they will still contain lots of flavour.