Table of contents:
- Why use vanilla in savory dishes?
- The chemistry and complexity of vanilla
- Pairing recommendations for vanilla
- Types of application of vanilla products
- Spicy Vanilla Recipes
- Recipe 1: Vanilla Tomato Relish
- Recipe 2: Spicy Vanilla Hummus
- Recipe 3: Vanilla Curry Dip
- Recipe 4: Vanilla Aioli
- Recipe 5: Vanilla Chili BBQ Sauce
- Recipe 6: Vanilla Garlic Tzatziki
- Recipe 7: Vanilla Mustard Dressing
- Recipe 8: Vanilla Avocado Guacamole
- Recipe 9: Spicy Vanilla Pesto
- Recipe 10: Vanilla Herb Butter
- More in-depth applications in international cuisine
- conclusion and recommendations
Known for its sweet and aromatic profile, vanilla has traditionally established itself as the queen of desserts. It's the unbeatable secret weapon in creams, cakes and ice cream flavors, and its alluring power stretches across continents and cultures. But beyond these sweet denominations lies another terrain that is less explored and yet just as captivating: the world of savory dishes. With this in mind, we invite you to embark on a culinary journey that will make you discover vanilla in a whole new light.
The decision to incorporate vanilla into savory or savory dishes might seem counterintuitive at first. It might surprise you, but vanilla's deep, spicy, and woody notes can add a remarkable accent to sauces, dips, and even main dishes. The sweetness of vanilla combined with its aromatic warmth can elevate savory dishes to flavor heights you never thought possible.
The thought of using this exquisite orchid in a savory context does not stem from a modern culinary whim. There is evidence that indigenous peoples of Mesoamerica used vanilla in savory dishes long before Europeans discovered it. This tradition has been forgotten, or perhaps overlooked, over time given vanilla's almost magnetic appeal to sweet recipes. But as with many old traditions, there is always a renaissance, and the understanding and appreciation of vanilla in a savory context is experiencing a renaissance.
It's also important to note that the savory world of vanilla isn't just reserved for bold palates or avant-garde chefs. Anyone who cooks can take advantage of this transition and infuse a bit of magic into their everyday recipes. All it takes is an open mind and a willingness to experiment beyond conventional culinary boundaries.
But before you start adding vanilla to your sauces and dips, it's important to know how to do it. It's not just a matter of adding vanilla to a savory recipe; it's all about finding the right balance to ensure the vanilla complements and doesn't dominate.
In the following paragraphs we will delve deep into the savory world of vanilla. From the chemistry and complexity of this remarkable spice to specific recipes to try in your kitchen. It will be a voyage of discovery and we hope you will be as excited as we are about the unlimited possibilities vanilla offers in savory dishes.
2. Why use vanilla in savory dishes?
The idea of using vanilla in savory dishes may sound unconventional to many. But if we delve deeper, we realize that vanilla's aromatic depth and complexity goes far beyond its use in desserts.
Vanilla brings a special sweetness and touch of the exotic, able to balance out the spicier, saltier or earthier notes in a dish. In a savory environment, vanilla often acts as a depth of flavor that provides a harmonious contrast to bold or pungent flavors. This balance can create a whole new taste experience that is both surprising and enjoyable.
The application of vanilla in savory recipes also makes it possible to experiment with taste and tradition. It offers chefs the opportunity to push boundaries, create innovative dishes and surprise their guests' palates in ways they might not expect.
Take a classic steak, for example. While such a cut of meat is often paired with bold flavors like pepper or garlic, a vanilla-chili marinade could add a sweet and tangy note to the meat that sets it apart from other steaks.
Or think seafood: A shrimp tossed in a vanilla-lime buttery sauce can bring out the sweetness of the shrimp while providing a fresh, citrusy contrast.
So it's not a question of whether to use vanilla in savory dishes, but how best to use it to maximize the potential of each ingredient. It's a voyage of discovery that will fascinate any aspiring chef or foodie. It expands our understanding of taste and how different flavors can interact in the kitchen. It's time to take vanilla out of the dessert arena and put it in the spotlight of savory cooking.
Combination of flavors: why vanilla harmonises so well with savory flavors.
Vanilla, a familiar spice most of us associate immediately with sweet foods, actually has an intriguing ability to pair with a variety of savory flavors. This unexpected liaison of vanilla with savory components creates a distinctive taste that has the potential to completely transform culinary experiences.
The chemistry behind vanilla
To start, it's important to understand the chemistry behind vanilla. Vanillin, the main component of vanilla, interacts with other foods at the molecular level. This molecule has the ability to combine with other aromatic molecules to enhance and complement flavor profiles. Especially in savory foods, it can cause the vanillin to mix with the flavors present, creating a richer, more complex flavor.
The balance between sweetness and spiciness
Any good savory sauce or savory dip benefits from a touch of sweetness. It's not just about countering the spiciness, it's also about balancing flavor and bringing out individual flavors. And while many cooks resort to sugar or honey, this is where vanilla can offer a unique twist. It not only adds sweetness, but also a unique aroma that gives the dish an incomparable depth.
Vanilla as a bridge between aromas
In the culinary world, some ingredients act as “bridges” that help bind different flavors together. Vanilla has this ability to a great extent. For example, when used in a savory tomato sauce, it can help combine the natural sweetness of tomatoes, the acidity of wine vinegar, and the warmth of spices like paprika and garlic. The result is a more balanced, harmonious sauce.
Vanilla in global cuisine
Vanilla isn't just limited to sweet desserts or baked goods. In many cultures, vanilla is used in savory recipes. For example, in some parts of Indonesia vanilla is used in fish dishes, while in parts of Africa it can be found in meat marinades. These traditional cuisines have recognized vanilla's ability to intensify and enhance the flavor of the main protein - be it fish, chicken or beef.
experiment and explore
The key to success when using vanilla in savory dishes is experimentation. It's all about finding the right amount that doesn't overpower but subtly complements. Whether in a creamy dip, a savory marinade, or a flavorful soup, a touch of vanilla can work wonders. However, it is advisable to start with a small amount and work your way up to find the perfect flavor point.
Vanilla, traditionally considered a sweet spice, actually has a lot to offer in savory cooking. Her subtle sweetness combined with her ability to blend flavors makes her a secret weapon for many chefs worldwide. It takes courage and an open mind to push the boundaries of what is possible and see vanilla in a new light. The result, however, is a delicious, unexpected taste explosion that will delight both the chef and the guests.
The chemistry and complexity of vanilla
Chemical Compounds: What Makes Vanilla So Special?
Vanilla is more than just a sweet, pleasant aroma found in desserts and perfumes. At the depths of this black bar, or in a drop of extract, lies a complex blend of chemical compounds that combine to create such a unique and coveted aroma.
Vanillin: The main aroma
The dominant aroma that most people associate with vanilla comes from a compound called vanillin. It is the most abundant molecule in vanilla beans and is responsible for most of their distinctive taste and smell. Interestingly, vanillin was synthetically made in laboratories, leading to a flood of "artificial vanilla" on the market. But the natural vanillin from real vanilla beans brings with it a deeper flavor that's hard to replicate.
Other key connections
Although vanillin is the main flavor, real vanilla is made up of hundreds of other chemical compounds. Some of these compounds include p-hydroxybenzaldehyde, acetovanillon and vanillylethanol. Each of these compounds subtly contributes to the overall aroma and flavor of vanilla, giving it its depth and complexity.
The reaction with other ingredients
Vanilla isn't just an isolated flavor; it often reacts with other ingredients in a dish. For example, the vanillin in vanilla can break down the proteins in milk or cream, resulting in a richer, creamier result. In savory dishes, vanilla can reduce acidity and bitterness, creating a more balanced flavor profile.
Vanilla: Fresh vs. Cooked
Another aspect of vanilla chemistry concerns the way it is altered by heat. Fresh vanilla has a slightly floral, delicate aroma. However, cooking will evaporate some of the more volatile compounds and the result can be more intense and caramel-like. This explains why vanilla tastes different in a fresh dessert than in a cooked one.
quality and origin
The quality of vanilla you choose can also make a difference in its chemical composition. High-quality vanilla beans, such as those made by Super Premium Vanilla , typically contain a higher concentration of vanillin and other key compounds, resulting in a stronger, richer flavor. In addition, the origin of vanilla can also affect its taste. Vanilla from different regions of the world, such as Madagascar or Tahiti, have slightly different flavor profiles due to variations in soil, climate, and growing practices.
The vanilla that many of us take for granted is actually a marvel of nature made up of a complex mix of chemical compounds. Their unique aroma and ability to transform flavor profiles in both sweet and savory dishes make them an indispensable part of the kitchen. Deep understanding of their chemistry can help chefs get the most out of this precious spice and take their culinary creations to a new level.
Sensory analysis: exploring the palate experience
Every time we eat, we take in a variety of sensory information. These sensory impressions are what make our taste experiences so deep and memorable. Vanilla in savory dishes offers an amazingly complex sensory experience that goes far beyond simple taste.
The mystery of taste
The complexity of the taste is based on five basic elements: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami. While vanilla is traditionally associated with sweetness, it can play a role in the umami component in savory dishes, rounding out and enhancing other flavors.
Sweet notes :
Despite its use in savory dishes, vanilla still contributes a natural sweetness. This sweetness can help moderate the pungency or bitterness of other ingredients, creating a harmonious taste experience.
Umami, often described as a "savory" flavor, is created by amino acids and certain other compounds. Vanilla can intensify the umami feeling in a dish by stimulating the taste buds and bringing other flavors to the fore.
The texture of a dish is just as important as the taste. The silky mouthfeel that vanilla evokes can enhance the tactile experience of a savory dish, adding creaminess and making it pleasing to the palate.
Aroma: The olfactory wonder
The aroma of vanilla is one of the most recognizable and appreciated in the world. When used in savory dishes:
The volatile compounds in vanilla can mix with the fumes of other ingredients, creating a more complex, multidimensional aroma.
memory and emotion :
Our sense of smell is closely linked to the limbic system in the brain, the center for emotion and memory. The scent of vanilla can therefore evoke emotional responses or memories that intensify the eating experience.
color and optics
While often overlooked, vanilla's color — a warm brown that comes from the tiny seeds inside the pod — can enhance the look of a savory dish. It can provide depth and visual appeal, especially in creamy sauces or stews.
The role of temperature
Whether served cold in a dip or hot in a sauce, temperature can affect how vanilla is perceived in the mouth. At higher temperatures, vanilla's volatile flavors can release more quickly, making them more prominent. In cooler temperatures, the aroma can be more subtle and restrained.
The sensory experience of vanilla in savory dishes is a dance of taste, smell, texture and sight. It's an invitation to think outside the box and recognize the many nuances and complexities that this amazing spice brings to the world of savory cooking. By sharpening our senses and immersing ourselves in the full spectrum of the vanilla experience, we can discover the true depths of its culinary versatility.
Molecular gastronomy: the role of vanilla in avant-garde gastronomy
Molecular gastronomy, also known as avant-garde cuisine, sees cooking as an experimental science. With her unique techniques and equipment, she transforms traditional ingredients and textures into surprising and innovative taste experiences. Within this creative playground, vanilla has played an intriguing role.
1. The versatility of vanilla
1.1. Vanilla as a flavor carrier : In molecular gastronomy, vanilla is often used not only as the main ingredient, but also as a flavor carrier. Their complexity can help intensify or complement other flavors.
1.2. Extraction methods : State-of-the-art techniques such as CO2 extraction make it possible to isolate the vanilla aroma in its purest form, achieving an even more intense depth of flavor.
2. Reinterpretation of traditional recipes
2.1. Spicy Vanilla Spheres : Spherification, a technique widely used in molecular gastronomy, can be used to produce savory vanilla "caviar" pearls or even larger gel balls that burst when eaten, releasing the aroma.
2.2. Vanilla Mousses : With the help of siphons and nitrogen, a savory custard can be transformed into an airy foam that transforms the palate experience and offers a touch of avant-garde.
3. The texture transformation
3.1. Vanilla Gel : Agar-agar and other gelling agents make it possible to turn savory vanilla broths into firm or jelly-like textures that can add surprise to a dish.
3.2. Vanilla Powder : Using maltodextrin and other modern ingredients, savory vanilla can be turned into a fine powder that can be dissolved on a plate or used as a garnish.
4. Vanilla combined with unexpected ingredients
4.1. Vanilla and Seafood : In molecular gastronomy, vanilla is often paired with seafood, with the sweet note of vanilla complementing the salty freshness of the sea.
4.2. Savory Vanilla Sauces : Molecular emulsion techniques allow the creation of stable sauces that combine savory and sweet notes, with vanilla often serving as a binding agent or flavor bridge.
5. Creative presentation
5.1. Dehydrated Vanilla Sheets : Dehydration can transform savory custards into crunchy sheets or threads that serve as creative toppings.
5.2. Vanilla Mist : Using dry ice or liquid nitrogen, a fragrant vanilla "mist" can be created that offers a multi-sensory experience when poured over a dish or in a glass.
Molecular gastronomy is known for constantly pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the kitchen. Vanilla, with its rich history and complexity, has established itself as a key ingredient in this avant-garde realm. Through its versatile application, be it in textural transformation or in combination with unexpected ingredients, vanilla proves its timeless appeal and its ability to constantly surprise the palate. It's exciting to see how this humble spice continues to enrich and inspire the world of molecular gastronomy.
Pairing Recommendations for Vanilla: The Science of Pairings
The art of pairing—the bringing together of flavors and aromas—is central to the culinary world. Vanilla, with its rich and complex profile, offers exciting possibilities for this art. But what is behind the theories of successful combinations?
1. The basic principles of pairing
1.1. Complement vs. Contrast : There are two main approaches to pairing: complementing similar flavors and contrasting different ones. While the first principle is based on amplifying existing flavors, the second is about emphasizing differences in order to achieve a more balanced taste experience.
1.2. Flavor vs. Aroma : While flavor is often described in terms of the five basic tastes (sweet, salty, sour, bitter, umami), aroma refers to the scent of an ingredient. A successful pairing takes both dimensions into account.
2. Vanilla Spectrum
2.1. Sweetness and Warmth : Vanilla's natural sweetness and warming qualities make it ideal for pairings with ingredients looking to emphasize or complement these qualities.
2.2. The floral dimension : High-quality vanilla often offers floral notes that harmonize with other floral ingredients such as lavender or roses.
3. Vanilla in savory pairings
3.1. Seafood : As noted earlier in molecular gastronomy, vanilla can complement the salty freshness of seafood, particularly crustaceans such as shrimp or scallops.
3.2. Meat and Poultry : The sweet and warming notes of vanilla can pair well with dark meats like beef or lamb, or they can complement the milder flavor of poultry.
3.3. Vegetables : Some vegetables, especially those with a natural sweetness like carrots or beets, can benefit from a touch of vanilla.
4. The science behind the pairings
4.1. Flavor Compounds : In some cases, two ingredients share molecules that give them a similar flavor. An example of this is vanillin, which is found in both vanilla and oak, which is why vanilla often pairs well with oak-aged spirits.
4.2. Flavor Balance : It's about striking a balance between strong and mild flavors. For example, a heavily seasoned steak could benefit from a mild custard.
Understanding the science and art of pairing can help unlock the full culinary potential of vanilla in savory dishes. With its complexity and versatility, vanilla invites you to explore bold and creative combinations that delight and surprise the palate.
Suggested Pairings: Which sauces and dips benefit the most from vanilla?
The unique flavors of vanilla can be used in fascinating ways in savory sauces and dips. The key lies in combining vanilla with certain key ingredients to create a harmonious flavor profile.
1. Vanilla and Seafood
Vanilla has the ability to enhance and enhance the delicate flavors of seafood. This is particularly beneficial with dishes that have a subtle flavor, such as shrimp, scallops, or white fish. The sweetness of the vanilla emphasizes the natural taste of the sea and gives the dish an exotic touch.
2. Sauces for meat and poultry
Meat, especially red meat, has a robust flavor profile that can benefit from nuances of vanilla. The flavors of beef steaks, lamb or pork can be complemented by a subtle sweetness that brings out the savory notes of the meat and creates a balanced flavor profile.
3. Vanilla in vegetarian and vegan dips
Vegetarian and vegan dishes often benefit from complex flavor combinations. This is where vanilla can really show its versatility. Whether in a legume, nut or vegetable-based dip, vanilla can complement both the main ingredients and the spices.
4. Vanilla in Asian sauces
Asian cuisine is known for its balance of sweet, sour, salty and umami flavors. Vanilla can further refine this balance, especially in sauces and marinades that have a sweet component. Their aroma can help balance hot and spicy elements and add a deep, rich sweetness.
5. Vanilla in Mediterranean sauces
Mediterranean cuisine, known for its fresh ingredients and flavors, can take on an extra dimension with the introduction of vanilla. Although it may seem unconventional, the vanilla can complement and deepen the flavor of ingredients like tomatoes, olive oil, and herbs.
While vanilla is traditionally used in sweet dishes, its integration into savory sauces and dips shows it has much more to offer. By focusing on her complex aromas and her ability to complement and enhance other flavors, one can create truly innovative and delicious combinations. It pays to be bold and experiment with vanilla in savory cuisine. Countless delicious discoveries await the adventurous chef.
Experimental Pairings: Bold combinations for the adventurous palate
While traditional combinations of vanilla and savory ingredients can already yield impressive culinary creations, bold, experimental pairings open up a whole new world of taste experiences. Vanilla, with its complex aromas, offers the perfect background to expand culinary horizons and explore new taste territories.
1. Vanilla And Smoked Foods:
The smokiness of smoked meat or fish paired with the gentle sweetness of vanilla offers a sensual taste experience. Think a smoky BBQ sauce with a hint of vanilla adding dimension to a smoked brisket, or smoked salmon served in a savory vanilla creme.
2. Vanilla And Fermented Foods:
The earthy, deep flavors of fermented foods like kimchi or sauerkraut can be beautifully complemented by the subtle notes of vanilla. A kimchi dip with vanilla or a sauerkraut salad with vanilla dressing could be interesting experiments for the palate.
3. Vanilla and Bitters:
Bitter foods like endive, radicchio, or dark chocolate can be balanced with the sweetness of vanilla. A vanilla vinaigrette for a bitter salad or a vanilla dark chocolate sauce for a steak are just some of the innovative possibilities.
4. Vanilla And Hot Spices:
The spiciness of chili, pepper or wasabi can be softened with vanilla, resulting in a more balanced taste experience. Imagine a spicy chili sauce with a hint of vanilla served with tacos, or a vanilla wasabi dip paired with sushi.
5. Vanilla And Savory Drinks:
Yes, even in drinks! Pairing vanilla with savory drinks like Bloody Marys or margaritas can offer a whole new drinking experience. A Bloody Mary with vanilla extract or a margarita with a dash of vanilla syrup could be the next great cocktail revolution.
Experimenting with vanilla in unusual combinations shows that there are no limits in culinary art. It encourages us to think outside the box and discover new flavor profiles. While some of these combinations may sound unusual, they could become tomorrow's new favorite dishes. It only takes a brave chef willing to take the risk and explore the unexplored flavors of vanilla in savory dishes.
5. Ways of using vanilla products
Vanilla Beans: The Direct Path to Authentic Taste
There is hardly any other spice that is as representative of sweet delicacies as vanilla. But away from the sweet world, the vanilla bean reveals its versatile personality, especially in savory creations. Here's a deeper dive into using vanilla beans in savory cooking and why it's so special.
1. Why Vanilla Beans?
The vanilla bean is the unripe fruit of the vanilla orchid. It contains small, aromatic seeds that are often referred to as "vanilla caviar." This caviar is a source of intense and complex flavors that can shine in both sweet and savory dishes.
2. The preparation:
Before you start cooking with the vanilla bean, you should know how to properly prepare it:
- Step 1 : Halve the pod lengthways with a sharp knife.
- Step 2 : Use the back of the knife to gently scrape out the vanilla caviar.
3. Applications in savory dishes:
- Sauces : Add the vanilla caviar to tomato sauces, BBQ sauces or gravies for an extra layer of flavor.
- Meat : Vanilla beans can be added to chicken, pork, or beef marinades to add a sweet and flavorful touch.
- Seafood : A vanilla-lemon butter sauce is the perfect accompaniment to grilled shrimp or scallops.
To preserve the freshness and flavor of vanilla beans, they should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature. Spent pods, from which the caviar has already been removed, can be used to flavor sugar or salt.
5. The right choice:
While all vanilla beans are aromatic, their quality and intensity varies. For the best results in your savory dishes, we recommend using quality products. Super-Premium Vanilla Bean Planifolia from Indonesia or Super-Premium Vanilla Bean Tahitensis from Papua Indonesia are two outstanding options, known for their outstanding quality and intense aroma.
The vanilla bean is not only a symbol of sweet temptations, but also a versatile tool in savory cuisine. With its ability to add depth and complexity to many dishes, the vanilla bean is an ingredient that should not be missing from any kitchen.
Vanilla Extract: A concentrate of taste and elegance
The magic of vanilla isn't just limited to its pods. A concentrated liquid product made by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol and water, Vanilla Extract carries the heart of vanilla flavor and offers chefs and gourmets a convenient way to incorporate this flavor into their creations. Here you will learn all about vanilla extract and how to use it in savory dishes.
1. Why Vanilla Extract?
While the vanilla bean delivers a rich, full flavor, the vanilla extract offers a consistent and easy-to-dose option. The concentrated nature of the extract means only a few drops are needed to add a deep vanilla note to a dish.
2. Vanilla Extract Benefits:
- Consistency : A constant aroma and flavor regardless of the season or harvest.
- Longevity : Longer shelf life than fresh vanilla beans.
- Versatility : Easy to mix and measure, ideal for savory sauces, marinades and dressings.
The intensity of vanilla extract can vary depending on how it was made. For example, a "double fold" extract is more concentrated than a "single fold" extract.
- Light Note : Add 3-4 drops per serving for a subtle vanilla note in savory dishes.
- Distinct Flavor : For a stronger vanilla flavor, 7-8 drops per serving.
- Tip : Always start with a smaller amount and add more as needed.
4. Applications in savory dishes:
- Salad Dressings : A drop of vanilla extract adds a sweet, aromatic depth to vinaigrettes.
- BBQ Sauces : The sweet undertone of the extract can complement the smoky flavor of a BBQ sauce.
- Marinades : Ideal for poultry or pork to give it a sweet and savory profile.
For the best taste and highest quality in your savory creations, we recommend the super premium vanilla extract Planifolia from Indonesia - Double Fold (2x concentrate) and the super premium vanilla extract Tahitensis from Papua Indonesia - Double Fold (2x concentrate) .
A true marvel of nature, vanilla extract captures the essence of vanilla in an easy-to-use liquid form. With its ability to add depth, sweetness and a distinctive aroma, vanilla extract is a must-have ingredient for anyone looking to experiment in savory cuisine.
Vanilla Powder: The aroma in its purest form
In the culinary world, where every nuance of flavor and aroma counts, vanilla powder is available as one of the purest forms of vanilla. It's intense, versatile, and a remarkable alternative to other vanilla products. Here we delve into the wonders of vanilla powder and discover how and when it is best used in savory creations.
1. What is vanilla powder?
Vanilla powder is the result of ground vanilla beans. It contains no additives or preservatives and is often an excellent choice for recipes that call for a dry ingredient. The powder retains the rich, complex aroma of the vanilla bean while still offering ease of use and dosing.
2. Vanilla Powder Benefits:
- Intensity : Because it's made from whole vanilla beans, the powder's aroma is often more intense than other vanilla products.
- Versatility : It can be used in both dry and wet ingredient mixes.
- No Alcohol : Ideal for dishes where the alcohol of an extract is not desired.
3. When to use vanilla powder?
- Dry Spice Blends : Perfect for rubs or spice blends where liquid should be avoided.
- Sauces and Marinades : The powder can be mixed directly into liquid ingredients without forming lumps.
- Baked Goods and Doughs : When an intense vanilla flavor is desired without adding additional liquid.
4. Dosage Notes:
The potency of vanilla powder can vary depending on the quality and the way it is processed.
- Light note : A quarter of a teaspoon for a subtle vanilla note in a dish for 4 people.
- Distinctive Flavor : Half a teaspoon for a distinct vanilla flavor in a meal for 4 people.
5. Applications in savory dishes:
- Salads : A touch of vanilla powder can add an interesting twist to a simple salad dressing.
- Soups and Stews : A little sprinkle of powder can add extra complexity to the depth and warmth of a stew or soup.
- Meat Marinades : The powder can be used to create a sweet and savory profile for meat or fish marinades.
6. Product link:
For the best culinary results, we recommend this high-quality vanilla powder . Its intense aroma and delicacy make it the perfect complement to your savory dishes.
Vanilla powder opens a door to new culinary horizons by presenting the iconic taste of vanilla in a new, versatile form. It is a must in every gourmet kitchen and offers countless ways to refine savory dishes.
Savory vanilla recipes: A fusion of tradition and innovation
The kitchen is an ever-evolving field where chefs and food enthusiasts continually experiment to create unique and unforgettable taste experiences. One of the most exciting developments in this ongoing evolution is the use of ingredients traditionally considered "sweet" in savory, savory dishes. One such example is the use of vanilla in savory creations.
Vanilla isn't just a staple in cakes and desserts. She possesses an aroma capable of adding depth and complexity to a wide range of dishes, from light appetizers to hearty entrees. It may come as a surprise to some that this orchid fruit—yes, it is actually a fruit—fits so seamlessly into the world of savory. But that is exactly what makes them one of the most versatile ingredients in the modern kitchen.
In the following sections, we present a curated selection of savory vanilla recipes that revisit both classic dishes and avant-garde creations that push the boundaries of culinary creativity. From simple sauces that can elevate any dish to complex entrees that take advantage of the subtle yet powerful notes of vanilla, there's something for everyone.
These recipes are not only meant to serve as a guide, but also to inspire. They offer insights into the endless ways vanilla can be used in savory cooking and invite everyone to start their own culinary journey with this wonderful ingredient.
Let yourself be seduced by the magic of vanilla and discover how it can transform the ordinary into something extraordinary!
Recipe 1: Vanilla Tomato Relish
Vanilla Tomato Relish is a modern take on a traditional classic. The sweet, floral aroma of vanilla combines amazingly with the acidity of tomatoes to create a relish that is as impressive in its depth as it is in its simplicity. Ideal as an accompaniment to grilled meat, fish or as an additional component in sandwiches and burgers.
- 500g ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1-2 tsp sugar (to taste)
- salt and pepper to taste
- The pulp of a Super Premium Vanilla bean Planifolia from Indonesia OR 1 tsp vanilla powder
- Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent.
- Add tomatoes, sugar and red wine vinegar. Reduce the heat and simmer until the tomatoes are soft and releasing their liquid, 10-12 minutes.
- Add the vanilla pulp or vanilla powder and stir well. Season with salt and pepper.
- Allow the relish to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to infuse for at least an hour before serving to intensify the flavors.
Tip: This relish goes perfectly with a steak or grilled chicken. The sweet and floral aroma of vanilla enhances the taste of the meat and offers an incomparable taste experience.
There is few better product to complement the delicate nature of this recipe than Planifolia Super Premium Vanilla Bean from Indonesia . For those looking for an easier alternative, vanilla powder offers a quick yet flavorful option. Both products are ideal for this savory vanilla adventure.
Recipe 2: Spicy Vanilla Hummus
The aroma of vanilla brings an exotic touch to this traditional hummus, creating the perfect balance of sweetness and spiciness. This savory vanilla hummus is ideal as a dip for vegetable sticks or flatbread and can also be served as an accompaniment to grilled meat or fish.
- 400g chickpeas (canned or soaked and cooked overnight)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp tahini (sesame paste)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- The pulp of a Super Premium Tahitensis Vanilla Bean from Papua, Indonesia OR 1 tsp Tahitensis Vanilla Extract from Papua, Indonesia
- Place chickpeas, garlic cloves, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor.
- Blend the mixture until smooth and creamy.
- While the machine is running, slowly add the olive oil to get a silky texture.
- Add the vanilla pulp or vanilla extract and continue to blend until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the hummus in a bowl and chill in the fridge for at least an hour before serving.
Tip: Sprinkle toasted pine nuts or a drizzle of chili oil over the hummus for an extra flavor.
For an extra exotic flavor, we recommend the super premium Tahitensis vanilla bean from Papua, Indonesia . If you like it simpler, you can use Tahitensis vanilla extract from Papua, Indonesia instead. Either option will add a surprisingly pleasant depth of flavor to this hummus recipe.
Recipe 3: Vanilla Curry Dip
Immerse yourself in a dip that combines the exotic warmth of curry with the subtle sweetness of vanilla. This vanilla curry dip is perfect for dipping crunchy vegetable sticks, naan bread, or as a creamy sauce over grilled chicken. The vanilla brings out the aromatic notes of the curry and provides a taste explosion that will impress your guests.
- 200g Greek yoghurt or crème fraîche
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Pulp of one Super Premium Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Bean OR 1/2 tsp Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Extract
- salt and pepper to taste
- Freshly chopped coriander for decoration
- In a medium bowl, stir together Greek yogurt or crème fraiche until smooth.
- Add curry powder and turmeric and mix well.
- Add the vanilla pulp or vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with freshly chopped coriander before serving.
- Leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to intensify the flavors.
For a truly unforgettable aroma experience, we recommend the super premium vanilla bean Planifolia from Indonesia . If you're in a hurry, Indonesian planifolia vanilla extract is a great choice to add an extra dimension to this dip.
Recipe 4: Vanilla Aioli
Discover an elegant twist on a Mediterranean classic. This vanilla aioli combines the creamy character of a traditional aioli with the delicate sweetness of vanilla. Perfect as an accompaniment to grilled vegetables, fish or as a dip for crusty bread, this recipe offers a surprising yet incredibly harmonious combination of flavors.
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Pulp of a Super Premium Tahitensis Vanilla Bean from Papua Indonesia OR 1/2 tsp Tahitensis Vanilla Extract from Papua Indonesia
- 150ml olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- salt to taste
- Mix egg yolk and crushed garlic in a bowl.
- Slowly add the olive oil, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and creamy.
- Add the vanilla pulp or vanilla extract and mix well.
- Season to taste with lemon juice and salt.
- Leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour to combine the flavors.
The special note of this aioli is due to the super premium vanilla pod Tahitensis from Papua Indonesia . Its floral and fruity notes combine perfectly with the rich taste of olive oil and garlic. If you are in a hurry or prefer a lighter vanilla note, Tahitensis vanilla extract from Papua Indonesia is the ideal choice.
Recipe 5: Vanilla Chili BBQ Sauce
A BBQ sauce like no other. The deep and rich taste of dark chocolate meets the sweet and floral aroma of vanilla, complemented by a spicy note of chili. A must-have for every barbecue evening where you want to surprise your guests with a special kind of taste experience.
- 200 ml tomato ketchup
- 2 tablespoons dark chocolate (min. 70% cocoa)
- 1-2 red chillies, finely chopped (depending on how spicy you like it)
- Pulp of one Super Premium Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Bean OR 1 tsp Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a small saucepan, heat the tomato ketchup and dark chocolate, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Add the chili peppers, vanilla pulp or extract, sugar and vinegar and mix well.
- Let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. The sauce can be served hot, but it will continue to thicken as it cools.
This BBQ sauce gets its distinctive character from the use of the super premium vanilla bean Planifolia from Indonesia . The natural vanilla flavor enhances the sweetness of the ketchup and harmonises perfectly with the spiciness of the chilies and the depth of the dark chocolate. If you are in a hurry, the Planifolia vanilla extract from Indonesia is an excellent alternative.
Recipe 6: Vanilla Garlic Tzatziki
Tzatziki like you've never experienced before! The combination of refreshing yoghurt, spicy garlic and the sweet hint of vanilla makes this tzatziki a real taste experience. Perfect as a dip for fresh bread or grilled vegetables.
- 500g Greek yoghurt
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and grated
- Pulp of one Super Premium Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Bean OR 1 tsp Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Extract
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
- Juice of half a lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, minced garlic, grated cucumber, vanilla pulp or extract, olive oil, dill, and lemon juice.
- Mix everything thoroughly until all the ingredients are well mixed together.
- Season with salt and pepper and leave in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Stir well before serving and season if necessary.
The unmistakable taste of the Super Premium Vanilla Planifolia from Indonesia gives this classic Greek dip a special touch. The delicate vanilla flavor harmonises perfectly with the spicy garlic and cool yoghurt and makes this tzatziki the highlight of every mezze platter. If you like it particularly intense, you can also use Planifolia vanilla extract from Indonesia .
Recipe 7: Vanilla Mustard Dressing
The vanilla mustard dressing will be your new favorite for summer salads. With a sweet and tangy note, thanks to Super Premium Vanilla and hot mustard, it's the perfect accompaniment to fresh vegetable salads, especially those with bitter greens like rocket or radicchio.
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- The pulp of half a Super Premium Tahitensis vanilla bean from Papua Indonesia OR ½ tsp Tahitensis vanilla extract from Papua Indonesia
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp honey or maple syrup (optional for extra sweetness)
- In a small bowl, combine the white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, vanilla pulp or extract, and honey or maple syrup (if using).
- While continuing to stir vigorously, slowly pour in the olive oil until the dressing is well emulsified.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper and season if necessary.
- Store the dressing in the fridge until ready to use. Stir well before serving.
The luxurious taste of Super Premium Vanilla Tahitensis from Papua Indonesia adds an unexpected depth to this dressing that perfectly balances the warmth of the mustard. Ideal for turning the everyday salad into a gourmet experience. The additional vanilla flavor of the Tahitensis vanilla extract from Papua Indonesia ensures a more intense taste experience.
Recipe 8: Vanilla Avocado Guacamole
This Vanilla Avocado Guacamole takes the classic Mexican dip to a whole new level. The addition of Super Premium Vanilla creates a refined sweetness that harmonises perfectly with the creamy taste of avocado and offers an unforgettable pleasure.
- 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
- The pulp of 1/4 Super Premium Planifolia Vanilla Bean from Indonesia OR 1/4 tsp Planifolia Vanilla Extract from Indonesia
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 small red onion, finely diced
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and finely diced
- 1 small green chilli (optional), deseeded and finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh coriander, roughly chopped, for garnish
- Place the avocado flesh in a bowl and mash with a fork until fairly smooth.
- Add the vanilla pulp or extract, lime juice, diced onion, tomato and chili (if using) and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Place the guacamole in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve immediately.
The super premium vanilla pod planifolia from Indonesia gives the guacamole a subtle and incomparable sweetness, which in combination with the other ingredients ensures a refreshing and balanced aroma. A must have for any guacamole lover looking for a special twist!
Recipe 9: Spicy Vanilla Pesto
The savory vanilla pesto offers an innovative twist on a traditional Italian favorite. The subtle aroma of Super Premium Vanilla meets the spiciness of basil and garlic to create a heavenly combination that will enhance pasta, bread or grilled vegetables.
- 2 cups fresh basil, tightly packed
- The pulp of half a Super Premium Papuan Tahitensis Vanilla bean OR ½ tsp Papuan Tahitensis Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Place the basil, vanilla pulp or extract, parmesan, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor.
- With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a thin stream until the pesto reaches the desired consistency.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Pour into an airtight jar and store in the fridge.
The sweetness and depth of the Super Premium Vanilla bean Tahitensis from Papua gives the pesto an extra dimension that goes beyond the typical basil flavor. A culinary experiment that offers the taste buds a journey they will not soon forget.
Recipe 10: Vanilla Herb Butter
Treat your taste buds to this innovative vanilla herb butter that combines both sweet and savory notes. The scent of Super Premium Vanilla blends perfectly with fresh herbs to create a flavorful experience ideal for fresh bread, steaks or even vegetables.
- 250 g unsalted butter, softened
- The pulp of one Super Premium Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Bean OR 1 tsp Indonesian Planifolia Vanilla Extract
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the butter, vanilla pulp or extract, parsley, dill, and thyme until well combined.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and continue to mix well.
- Place the butter on a piece of cling film and shape into a roll. Seal the ends of the foil tightly.
- Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Slice and enjoy before serving.
The fine vanilla note of the super premium vanilla bean Planifolia from Indonesia adds a surprising depth to the classic herb butter. This recipe is a reminder that culinary discovery often lies in the most unexpected combinations.
7. Deeper applications in international cuisine
International cultures :
The diversity and depth of culinary traditions around the world is breathtaking. Often characterized as a sweet aroma, vanilla has assumed savory roles in various cultures beyond what the average palate can imagine. A journey through different countries shows the creative use of vanilla in savory dishes.
1. Mexico - land of vanilla origins
Not surprisingly, in Mexico, where vanilla originated, the plant plays a central role in local cuisine. Here vanilla is used not only in desserts but also in savory mole sauces. A savory mole with a hint of vanilla pairs beautifully with chicken or turkey, offering a complexity that is both deep and aromatic.
2. Morocco - The interplay of sweet and savory
Moroccan cuisine is known for its lamb tajines, prepared with a variety of spices, dried fruits and nuts. A little touch of vanilla can deepen the interplay of flavors in such a dish, complementing the sweetness of apricots and the spiciness of saffron.
3. India - Spice Master
Indian cuisine, known for its variety of spices, has also experimented with vanilla in savory dishes. A classic butter chicken can be prepared with a hint of vanilla to complement the tomato creaminess for a softer, more harmonious finish.
4. France - haute cuisine
French cuisine has used vanilla in savory sauces and broths, particularly in fish and seafood dishes. A vanilla Béarnaise sauce on a tender steak can add a subtle sweetness that complements the meat beautifully.
5. Thailand - Sweetness and spiciness in harmony
Thai cuisine is a balancing act between sweet, sour, salty and spicy. A classic green curry flavored with a touch of vanilla can deepen the coconut milk flavor and add an extra dimension to the spiciness of the green chilies.
The use of vanilla in savory dishes isn't new, but it's certainly underappreciated. This deep connection between sweet and savory in international cuisine shows that vanilla is much more than just a dessert spice. It's a versatile tool that, when used correctly, can take dishes to new culinary heights. Experimenting and incorporating vanilla into savory dishes from different cultures is not only an exciting culinary journey, but also a testament to the limitless creativity of chefs worldwide.
Recipes and Applications:
1. Mexican Vanilla Mole Chicken
A feast for the senses, this dish combines the deep, earthy warmth of chili peppers with the subtle aroma of vanilla.
- Ingredients: Chicken Thighs, Ancho Chilies, Vanilla Bean, Dark Chocolate, Onions, Garlic, Cinnamon, Cumin, Broth, Salt.
- Preparation: Roast the chillies, mix with the broth and vanilla. Add remaining spices, cook until thickened. Add chicken and let simmer.
2. Moroccan Vanilla Lamb Tagine
The exotic blend of sweet and savory flavors make this dish incomparable.
- Ingredients: Lamb Meat, Vanilla Bean, Apricots, Almonds, Onions, Saffron, Ginger, Cinnamon, Chicken Stock, Olive Oil.
- Preparation: Roast the lamb, add onions, spices and broth. Simmer over low heat, adding apricots and vanilla last.
3. Indian Vanilla Butter Chicken
A touch of vanilla adds extra depth to this famous Indian dish.
- Ingredients: Chicken Breast, Tomatoes, Cream, Onions, Garlic, Ginger, Garam Masala, Turmeric, Coriander, Cayenne Pepper, Butter, Vanilla Extract.
- Preparation: Fry chicken, add onion, garlic, ginger. Add tomatoes, spices and cream, let simmer. Stir in the vanilla at the end.
4. French Vanilla Clam Soup
The sweet vanilla brings out the flavor of the seafood in this classic soup.
- Ingredients: Mussels, White Wine, Cream, Onions, Garlic, Parsley, Butter, Vanilla Extract.
- Preparation: Steam the mussels in white wine. Fry onions in butter, add cream and vanilla. Add mussels and serve.
5. Thai Vanilla Green Curry
Vanilla refines this hot and creamy curry.
- Ingredients: Chicken Breast, Green Curry Paste, Coconut Milk, Fish Sauce, Brown Sugar, Thai Basil, Vanilla Extract, Eggplant, Red Pepper.
- Preparation: Fry chicken in curry paste. Add coconut milk, vegetables, spices. Simmer and add vanilla and basil before serving.
The beauty of these recipes lies in the subtle application of vanilla that enhances the flavor of each dish without dominating it. Every culture has its own way of using spices, and adding vanilla to savory dishes from around the world is an exciting way to reinterpret traditional recipes.
11. Conclusion and Recommendations:
After an in-depth journey through the complex and fascinating world of savory vanilla gastronomy, we are at a point where the potential of this priceless spice in international cuisine has been completely redefined. The surprising character of vanilla in savory creations has shown us a wealth of opportunities to push our culinary boundaries and experiment.
It's worth noting that while the sweet side of vanilla is widely recognized and understood, the savory dimension is still largely unexplored territory. And it is precisely this mystery that makes it so exciting.
Some final recommendations for anyone wanting to embark on this journey:
Start with an open perspective: As with many other culinary discoveries, it's important to start the process with an open mind and an inquisitive palate.
Use high-quality products: Vanilla is an expensive spice, and there is a significant difference between high-quality and low-quality products. It is always advisable to invest in good quality to get the most out of your dishes.
With measure and purpose: When using vanilla in savory dishes, it is crucial to find the right balance. An excess of vanilla can overwhelm the dish, so it's important to exercise restraint.
Experiment and Adapt: Not every dish needs the addition of vanilla. It's important to experiment and see which dishes really benefit from this unique flavor.
Share your discoveries: one of the most beautiful aspects of gastronomy is sharing. If you come across an amazing combination or create a new savory vanilla recipe, share it with others and expand the community of culinary explorers.
In closing, we encourage you to continue your culinary adventures. The world of savory vanilla may still be undiscovered, but that's what makes it so exciting and worthwhile. Immerse yourself, experiment, and most importantly, savor every discovery on this tasty journey. Bon appetit!