1) How do you store your vanilla beans in a hot and humid place like Singapore?
- You can store them in a jar. Understandably, even your sugar may melt and sticky up your bean, or you may not like to add sugar. One suggestion you can do is to wrap the beans up in grease proof, food grade wax paper before sticking the beans into the jar. Then put your air tight sugar jar in a dark cupboard or put it in the fridge.
2) Can I freeze my beans in freezer?
- Yes you definitely can. But the outcome of the beans that I have witnessed many a times is they become somewhat a little dried and shriveled. The proper place to put your beans is still better in your chiller at around 14 degrees celsius, stick them in a airtight container that would do the job.
3) Can I vacuum pack it and then throw in to the freezer to use?
- Yes you can. But the beans is somewhat hardened or dried even though it is vacuum packed. You probably want to leave it in room temperature a while before using it - to see if it helps?
4) After I used the flecks of seeds in the beans, I throw the stalks away?
- NO! Pls don't waste that. This is green gold :) The stalks would have strong lingering flavors and can probably last you for a few rounds of vanilla sugar or even extract. You can steep these beans into Vodka or Rum then you get a nice vanilla extract.
5) I went overseas and overstock the vanilla beans at home! They are now all dried and shriveled. Can I still use them?
- Absolutely! (Can lah!) Pls use this wisely. You can simple cut the beans into halves, the drier the beans you have, the better! You can then put them into your home coffee powder/spices/nuts grinder. Grind it over and over again till you get VANILLA POWDER!! Store the powder in airtight glass container! Yomp.
- Second suggestion is these dried beans can be cut up into halves again, or slit them in the centre then you make vanilla pastes with it. You basically pop them into a pot of fine white sugar, and then boil them till you get a thick viscous liquid, stir constantly. Leave it to cool. (Some people add in corn starch to thicken, but I suggest you not do that...) You get your bean paste! You can store them in a disused jar or recycle bottle. Then store the vanilla paste in a cool dry place example your fridge.
6) What connections do you have with Madagascar?
- No connections. My brother who was born there introduced me to the beans and hope the beans can help save the country.
7) Can I use the beans to do stir fry vegetables?
- Erm, I have no answer for that. But you may have some vanilla beans inspired recipes or dishes which are savory and asian, you may want to experiment. I have heard of people use them in savory dishes, in bbq chicken marinates etc...but i think if you are adventurous, you should give it a try.
8) Why don't you sell vanilla extract and paste?
- For the moment I prefer to sell organic, original beans which are Gourmet Grade A for everyone to enjoy the joys of using natural original ingredient, without any processing. Understandably, in the city, everyone hopes for convenience. You may like to explore using the beans to make extracts and pastes, it is a much more enriching experience to do this than buying off from the shelves bottled extract and paste. Moreover, you have absolutely no idea what you are buying from these manufacturers is indeed real vanilla beans.
9) Is this your first time selling the beans?
- Yes! :) Loving the beans. I am addicted to the aroma. Even time I open up the bags the smell relaxes me!!
10) How often will you come to the Farmers' Market?
- As it was my debut, I will do it again on 2 June. :)
End of the top 10 list!