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Buying vanilla beans in French Polynesia?

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I'd read some previous threads in this forum and would like to bring some vanilla beans home. Does anyone know about what I can expect to pay for some? I did a price check at my local grocery store- $12.00 for a single bean. :eek: I'm hoping they are cheaper in Tahiti? Are they easy to find?

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Bora Bora, Moorea are cheaper than Papetee. You should be able to get 6 beans for $10-12 and readily available.

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Are you planning to bring these beans into the U.S.?

 

They may be confiscated at Customs.

 

Plants and plant parts are a no-no, I believe.

 

Just my $0.02.

 

Jim

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About 10 years ago on a Tahitian Princess cruise, we bought vanilla beans while on a shore excursion (supposedly from the same supplier as the White House). Wanting them safe and where I would not forget them, I placed them in the safe for the next 8 days. My My I can still smell in memory that wonderful scent that filled the room every time I opened the safe.:) I tried making vanilla sugar somewhat successfully but my daughter tried to make vanilla out of the beans.:rolleyes:

 

I certainly would think about whether the doggies at the border would allow them in (I would bet not because they smell even to a human nose) and check it out before buying. The grower might have a way of sealed package or something that is allowed. I have brought spices back to my daughter from other countries but they were packaged and I think that is allowed. Know before you go -- All countries are very protective of their agricultural interests these days and we have to do our part (or big fines and they make you dispose of the items:eek:).

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No problem bringing vanilla beans into the US. Moorea pineapples either!!!

 

 

 

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Returned 2 days ago and had no issues in bringing back both vanilla powder and the beans. Most of the beans are sold in either a vacuum pack or a cigar tube looking holder and have about 6 beans labeled as about 20 grams. In all honesty the airport, before you go through security in PPT had the best price at 1,000 Francs (about $12) for the tube. In the duty free shop after security the same tube was 1,800 Francs.

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I buy it by the Kilo, last year I bought 2 kilos.

 

The best quality and the best price if your buying in quantity will be on Moorea at this place. Just to the east of the Moorea IC. I've bought on several different islands and at the airport, this place is best for freshness, quality & quantity.

 

NonistoreonMoorea.jpg

Edited by Tikiintahiti

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Thanks Tiki I was going to ask you where on Moorea you have been buying your vanilla!

 

 

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This place has their own vanilla plantation on Moorea. The best stuff is nick named "Moorea Gold".

 

Sounds like pot to me :eek:

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They must be packaged for export to legally bring them back into USA. They could be found and confiscated if not marked for export.

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I've bought kilo after kilo in FP, never been marked "export" ...... never have had it taken, have always declared.

 

It is sealed in a vacuum pack

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I have brought back vanilla every time I go and nothing has ever been marked for export. Have not had a problem.

 

 

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Thanks for reminding me to buy my vanilla. I bought pineapple jam/jelly and other kinds of jellies for my DGD. I can't remember where they came from. Anybody know where to buy yummy jams/jellies? Probably will only go to Tahiti and Moorea this trip on stopover to New Zealand.

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The best by far is at the Agricultural School on Moorea. Stuff lasts forever too. I have a jar I am finishing up that I brought back 18 months ago. I had brought back around 8 jars. The Pineapple/Vanilla and Pineapple/coconut are my favorites.

Load up!

 

 

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I have to second the pineapple vanilla jam from the agricultural school. I am rationing out the last little bit and wishing I had bought more!

 

I bought vanilla on Moorea from the place Tiki talked about (also bought monoi and tetanus oil there too, which I am also rationing!) and from a farm on Tahaa. Personally, I can't tell the difference. Both make amazing vanilla sugar to put on fruit (fantastic on pineapple) and in baking, and vanilla syrup.

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I also buy a case or two of Rotui pineapple juice at the juice factory on Moorea - that needs to be rationed at home for sure! The pineapple jam is also awesome on an eggo with whipped cream!

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I have to second the pineapple vanilla jam from the agricultural school. I am rationing out the last little bit and wishing I had bought more!

 

I bought vanilla on Moorea from the place Tiki talked about (also bought monoi and tetanus oil there too, which I am also rationing!) and from a farm on Tahaa. Personally, I can't tell the difference. Both make amazing vanilla sugar to put on fruit (fantastic on pineapple) and in baking, and vanilla syrup.

 

psyfi,

 

I had never heard of monoi or tetanus oil before so I had to look them up. I found that monoi comes from Tahitian gardenias which sounds very nice (We have a couple of these plants in our yard and they are very fragrant.) However, when I looked up "tetanus oil" all I could find was that tetanus is a bacteria which causes lockjaw. Is there a tetanus oil that I don't know about? Or, could you have meant Tamanu oil which comes from the Tamanu tree which is native to Tahiti? I found out about this at a site called Natural Skin Care. http://www.naturalskinrepair.com/tamanu-oil.html

 

http://tahiti-iti.com/

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So sorry tiki! Stupid spellcheck! Monoi oil and Tamanu oil! The Same place you get the vanilla makes small batches of both oils and they are wonderful. Great for treating sunburn and the Tamanu has anti-bacterial qualities - heals cuts fast, stops bug bites from itching, etc... We did not buy any of the mass produced versions of monoi but I might have to do that when this stuff runs out.

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I buy it by the Kilo, last year I bought 2 kilos.

 

The best quality and the best price if your buying in quantity will be on Moorea at this place. Just to the east of the Moorea IC. I've bought on several different islands and at the airport, this place is best for freshness, quality & quantity.

 

 

Can you recommend a place to buy vanilla beans in Papeete? Any suggestions on how to tell the quality of one over another?

 

TIA

Diane

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Does the Agricultural school sell vanilla beans, monoi, or temanu oil? Is it accessible from where the ships dock? TIA :)

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There will probably be a stand or 2 at the tender location that has some vanilla.

 

If you want to go to the AG school you will need to take an island tour, rent a car or take a taxi. Some have been known to walk it ......

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I buy it by the Kilo, last year I bought 2 kilos.

 

The best quality and the best price if your buying in quantity will be on Moorea at this place. Just to the east of the Moorea IC. I've bought on several different islands and at the airport, this place is best for freshness, quality & quantity.

 

NonistoreonMoorea.jpg

A kilo is about 2.2 U.S. pounds, so by my quick math I'm guessing there are about 200 beans per kilo. Wow! May I ask what one would pay for a kilo of vanilla beans? -Allan

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If I recall the price was $225 USD for a kilo.

 

Fresh vanilla :)

 

Meaning it hasn't been sitting in a test tube container for who knows how long. The stuff from this place and a few on Tahaa you know it's fresh.

 

Go down to Costco and see what you pay for a couple of beans

Edited by Tikiintahiti

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Was just at this place the other day. I bought one package of 10 beans.for about $12 I think. Much cheaper than anywhere else I had seen so far.

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If I recall the price was $225 USD for a kilo.

 

Fresh vanilla :)

 

Meaning it hasn't been sitting in a test tube container for who knows how long. The stuff from this place and a few on Tahaa you know it's fresh.

 

Go down to Costco and see what you pay for a couple of beans

 

Thanks. My wife is very interested in this. (Translated: We're getting a kilo or two.) Thanks for all your help. - Allan

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Thanks. My wife is very interested in this. (Translated: We're getting a kilo or two.) Thanks for all your help. - Allan

My wife is showing the same "interest". LOL

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We will be ending our cruise in Papeete with no time to shop since flight leaves at 10am. Our only stop in FP will be in Bora Bora. Is there a place to buy vanilla beans or powder there?

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Yes there is a place. I would go to Chin Lee's market. When you get off the tender on Bora Bora go to the street then left. About one block on the right side you will see Chin Lee's market.

 

You can also purchase at the airport before or after security as there are a few stores inside. Not as fresh but I'm sure it will be fine.

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Also I bought at Chin Lee 2 beers - Tabu and Hinano Ambre - that you can't get on the ship. Good stuff! By the way since I AM on the vanilla thread: put a couple of beans in a bottle of extra virgin olive oil and then a year later you will amazed at what it does for frying food and veggies. Going to try it in a bottle of rum next week.

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10 beans sliced open into 8 oz of good vodka, Shake a few times a week. In 6 months you will have incredible vanilla extract.

 

10 oz white Balsamic vinegar with 4 beans sliced open. let sit for 2 months and then mix with blood orange olive oil for salads ............ yummy

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Bought pineapple balsamic vinegar in Moorea at the fruit juice factory

Along with my case of Rotui pineapple juice and its also great. Also bought a lot of jam from the agricultural school.

Had luggage just for all that and can't believe it all made it back in one piece.

By the way, vanilla powder in eggs very good too.

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One of you mentioned going to NZ. I am not sure they will let you take vanilla beans into NZ. We went home via NZ and a few other islands. I mailed the vanilla beans to my US home address from the post office in Papeete. They sell packaging material.

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I just used my last not-so-fresh "fresh" vanilla bean in some custard sauce and it was still delicious, so I can't wait to get my own batch of "Tahitian Gold" next month. :D

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