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Responsibly Sourced by LittlePod

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responsibly-sourced-moduleThe team at LittlePod are a forward-looking bunch. We take our responsibilities seriously, which is why we strive to ensure that every aspect of what we’re involved in, from pod picking to package recycling, is as sustainable, ethical and conscientious as possible. This is reflected in everything we do, from our choice of supplier to our packaging materials (such as aluminium and glass, which are widely recyclable).

Sustainability expert Patricia Rain is an inspirational figure in the world of vanilla. She works tirelessly on behalf of growers worldwide to promote fair trade and reduce opacity in the industry (see ‘friends of LittlePod’ for contact details). Patricia has endorsed LittlePod from the beginning, and with her ongoing support it is our desire to increase the use of real vanilla, raise awareness of the habitats that support its cultivation and minimise the environmental impact of distribution and disposal of our products.

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The Vanilla Story

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the-vanilla-storyVanilla is a seed pod cultivated from an orchid which grows 23 degrees either side of the equatorial belt.

It is widely thought that vanilla originated in Papantla (near Vera Cruz, in Mexico). Papantla is known as ‘the city that perfumed the world’.

The Totonac Indians of Mexico were early fans. They called it ‘Tlilxochitl’ (try asking for that in a shop!). Vanilla was first brought to Europe in 1520 by Spanish explorers.

Elizabeth 1st was introduced to the exotic flavour by her apothecary and found it so irresistible that she subsequently demanded that it be used in many of her meals. In nature, the vanilla orchid is pollinated by animals native to Mexico such as Malipona bees and hummingbirds. Elsewhere, growers must meticulously hand-pollinate individual plants, a process invented by a slave named Edmond Albius in 1841.

The time period between planting and eating is normally around 4.5 years, and the plant’s vines can grow up to an impressive 75 feet long. Often referred to as ‘black gold’, some Madagascan pods bear a unique tattoo to identify the grower and to prevent theft.

 

Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract by LittlePod

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vanillia extractThis natural extract provides all the intense flavour of Madagascan vanilla in a convenient liquid form. Most importantly, it’s NOT vanilla essence (a synthetic flavouring composed entirely of the chemical vanillin).

 

Natural Vanilla Paste by LittlePod

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vanilla pasteThis delicious paste has been specially formulated from a blend of pods, seeds and extracts. Each tube is full to bursting with at least 20 pods worth of extract, a concentration which minimises flavour bake-off.

 

Madagascan Vanilla Pods by LittlePod

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vanilla podsThese high-grade, natural Madagascan Bourbon vanilla pods are plump, moist and full of fruity, floral notes. Harvested from an exotic orchid, they grow only in a limited number of tropical habitats.

 
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