Vanilla Pompona, also known as Vanillon, is native to Central America. This variety of vanilla, from the family Orchidaceae, is a monocotyledonous plant. It grows mainly in tropical forests.
The genus « Vanilla » comes from the Spanish vaina (sheath) which refers to the fruit of the vanilla. Its variety name « pompona » comes from Latin pompa (parade), hypothetically in reference to its flower which is quite spectacular by its large size.
The vanilla pompona is presented in the form of lianas epiphytes, which means that it lives in epiphyte, that it uses the other plants as support to grow. But be careful, it is not a parasite because it does not take anything from its host. Its lianas have aerial roots and have very beautiful and large green/yellow flowers. The vanilla Pompona can reach 5 meters long.
The banana vanilla pods
The vanilla pods, also called capsules in a botanical term, are exaggeratedly oversized giving the name of banana vanilla to this variety of vanilla. Indeed, these fruits are shorter and more rounded than those of vanilla planifolia, resembling small bananas.
Its cultivation is rare (far behind vanilla planifolia and vanilla tahitensis. In addition, its quality is inferior to the other two varieties in that its vanillin content is low, giving it a lack of aroma. Its content of coumarin is high, giving it a chocolate touch rather sweet and soft in mouth. Its culture is difficult since 85% of the fruits of this variety burst before arriving at maturity. This is caused by its high content of coumarin and sugar. Only 15% arrive at maturity. The productivity is thus complicated.
The fragrance of this vanilla is light and sweet, which attracts many orchid bees. La vanille bourbon
Its habitat and geographical area
The natural distribution of this variety is located in Mexico and extends throughout South America including Venezuela, Peru, French Guiana, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname. It is however mainly produced in the French West Indies and more precisely in Guadeloupe.
This variety has a rather vast habitat but restricted by its classification by the IUCN. Indeed, it is classified by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) as an « endangered » species.
This vanilla grows only in tropical and humid areas.
This variety of vanilla is often used in maceration to produce flavored alcohols (rum, sangria). In French Guiana, this variety of vanilla is used as a medicine. Indeed, the fruit which has fermented, produces vanillin crystals (crystallization) and is mixed with carapa oil. This mixture is used to facilitate the blood circulation.
Acheter de la vanille au Comptoir de Toamasina.