Tonka beans are, in all likelihood, the most versatile ingredient you’ve never tried.
Harvested from a flowering tree native to South America and dried, the tonka bean is favoured for its unique flavour and scent.
The fragrance of the tonka bean, once also used in the manufacture of perfume, is reminiscent of vanilla, almonds, cinnamon and cloves, with hints of caramel and even tobacco.
While the flavour is outstanding on its own, it adds a unique dimension when paired with chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and the like.
Wrinkled and black in appearance, the inside of the hard bean is a dusty chocolate brown that can be applied to dishes in the same way as nutmeg; easily grated as needed.
While the tonka bean has savoury applications (such as in certain regional French stews), its more popular applications are sweet: tonka bean ice cream, tonka bean panna cotta, tonka bean crème brulee, chocolate desserts, truffles and many other dishes.
The Essential Ingredient Tonka Beans are produced in Venezuela, where the climate ideally matches the needs of the Fabaceae plant, and are treated with no additives or preservatives.
With such a uniquely appealing aroma, one smell of a tonka bean will have you inventing recipes and imagining delicious applications for this underused ingredient.
Visit The Essential Ingredient for tonka beans today.
Note: One of the naturally occurring compounds found in tonka beans, also found in licorice, cinnamon and lavender, was classed as illegal in the USA in the 1950s due to the incorrect identification of it as a blood-thinner. This law is being phased out internationally and does not in any way apply in Australia.