“This can’t be!” I cried. “We’ve run out of Tahitian Vanilla!”
One does not get lost on Taha’a. The 50-mile road circling the island can be traveled in a little over an hour, if the coconut crabs leave you alone. Fittingly known as Vanilla Island, Taha’a produces more than 80% of Tahiti’s world-famous spice. You can visit plantations and purchase vanilla directly from the source like I did. Situated a short few minutes’ drive from the airport, you’ll find the Vanilla House.
How to Make Vanilla Extract:
✔️ 8 ounce glass bottle or jar✔️ 7 vanilla beans✔️ 1 cup vodka 70 proof / 35% alcohol (or you can also use bourbon, rum or brandy, any brand or quality)
Step 1: SLICE. Slice each bean once long-ways and place in bottle.
Step 2: POUR. Pour one cup of vodka, rum or alcohol of your choice. (No cheating. The whole cup needs to go into the bottle.) Make sure vanilla beans are completely submerged.
Step 3: SHAKE. Shake once or twice a week. For best results, shimmy to the beat of ‘Rock Lobster’ by the B52’s.
Step 4: WAIT. Wait about 8 weeks. (Plenty of time to research oodles of scrumptious recipes!)
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