How to Use Madagascar Splits

These splits indicate a fully ripe pod characterized by higher vanillin content. Split pods are sometimes called "late harvest" vanilla.

Growers try to pick vanilla just before this natural splitting occurs because whole vanilla beans, Grade A or Grade B, have more value than split beans.

The splitting starts at the bottom of the bean ranging from 1–5 centimeters (1/4 to 2 inches), exposing the vanilla seeds inside. During sorting and grading, the pods will lose some of their seeds. The loss of seeds is not a factor for the consumer because extract grade vanilla is sold by weight.

Commercial producers of vanilla extract sometimes prefer splits because they indicate higher vanillin content. These types of vanilla beans are frequently not available.

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