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Loky and Jao: The High Price of Cheap Vanilla

Loky and Jao: The High Price of Cheap Vanilla

  Loky Bemananjara and his neighbor Jao Quatorze grow vanilla off a rutted dirt road outside Sambava, in Madagascar’s prime vanilla region. We visit them often, to see how their vines are doing, and to try to understand the challenges they face.    Two years...
Bloomberg Features Cook’s

Bloomberg Features Cook’s

Cook Flavoring Co. President Josephine Lochhead features prominently in this fascinating in-depth piece, Vanillanomics, in Bloomberg’s Business Week.     Reported and written by journalist Monte Reel, Vanillanomics is a story about the wild economics of...
The Secret of a Great Bake

The Secret of a Great Bake

Baking is blend of science and art, which is why I love it. To bake well, master a few basic techniques to unleash your artistry.    Step one is quality ingredients. I cannot stress enough the importance of good ingredients to a successful bake!    Two basic...
VANILLA MARKET REPORT: A Spaghetti Western  September 2019

VANILLA MARKET REPORT: A Spaghetti Western September 2019

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from our August trip to Madagascar: The Bad: Prices remain stratospheric, roughly $450 per kilo. The crop is short, and quality is down sharply from last year. The Ugly: Destructive harvesting and curing practices run rampant. U.S. and...
Vanilla Bean Seeds: A Troubling New Trend

Vanilla Bean Seeds: A Troubling New Trend

We all love vanilla bean ice cream. It’s creamy, delicious and gourmet….right? Maybe.   Vanilla ice cream is often sold in two varieties: French Vanilla and Vanilla Bean. The quality of the vanilla extracts or flavorings in these two ice creams can vary wildly,...

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