Stage 2: Sweating The Vanilla Beans
Immediately after the vanilla have finished the hot water blanching process, they are removed from the hot water and the workers rush to tightly wrap the hot green vanilla beans in wool blankets where the vanilla must remain warm during the two weeks that follow in order to prevent any mold from growing. In order to keep the vanilla warm, the wool blankets with the vanilla inside are brought outside in the sun during the day and are brought inside at night or at the first sign of rain.
This sweating process continues for two weeks until the vanilla loses some of its moisture. Then for the next two months, the wool blankets are opened during the day to expose the vanilla beans to the sun which inhibits any mold growth and transforms the enzymes, cellulose, and starches in the vanilla bean into complex aromas we associate with vanilla.