If you’ve been storing vanilla without airing it out for a while, you may find a white thick web on the edge of your beans and think to yourself “Eww, Mold, gross!” Well, don’t get “Mad” (see what I did there?), hang on a second before throwing away money in the trash.
If you see similar thick white frost at the edge of your beans, do not mistake it as mold. It actually is crystallisation of the vanillin contained in the vanilla bean. Vanillin is the main compound component in the pod responsible for this iconic rich flavour and smell. Over time, when drying out, the vanillin can crystallise and form a shiny frost. Do not fret, this is 100% safe for consumption and edible. A high vanillin content is actually a sign that the beans were mature and ripe when harvesting so it is often said to be a good sign of a good quality bean.
What to do?
Just air it out at room temperature for a while or wipe it off with a tissue.
Tip of the day: If you beans have dried out: You can re-hydrate them in milk or warm water for a while and they will be back to black and shiny 🙂