Tahitian vanilla is original because of its genetics, agronomic climatic features, but above all when the ancestral know-how of Polynesians people enter its curing.
Curing, specific to the Tahitian vanilla bean produced in French Polynesia, is based on a harvest made when the beans are ripe and on a natural browning.
Curing or processing of odourless fruit into a soft and perfumed spice requires a minute and methodical work.
After having been rinsed in clear water and drained, vanilla beans are ready to the matured for about 3 to 8 months, aroma develops during this period.
The method used, called direct or natural curing consists in maturing the beans alternating sun and shade exposures (indirect curing begins with boiling, brutal shock "killing" the bean not practised with the Vanilla tahitensis bean).
During the curing process, Tahitian vanilla beans loose part of their water (enabling a better conservation) and aromas develop and concentrate. Their humidity rate go from 80% to 45-55%. A thin layer of oil appears on the beans. Their become supple and shiny, therefore characterizing the Tahitian vanilla.
As for calibration, beans devoted to commercialisation are selected according to their length in 2 categories.
Finally, the packaging where traditionally same-length beans are baled or bagged.