Sourced in Papa New Guinea and Indonesia, based in Eugene, Oregon and found in Baby Cakes New York's bakery goods, Portland's Salt & Straw's "Double Fold Vanilla" ice cream flavor, Jem's Sprouted Nut Spreads, and in their own "Vanillaverse" of products online.
Why we've chosen to source the best vanilla for our nut butters:
- Health is a primary standard they've created. This is a clean vanilla that is NOT loaded with sugar or corn syrup (sadly, yes, read your labels!). All the vanilla from Singing Dog is also USDA Certified Organic. They helped facilitate all their farm organic certifications!
- Fair Trade+ & Supporting Farmers wasn't a company goal, there just wasn't any other option in their opinion. Today they work with 300+ farms, pay market prices to the farmers and give a quarterly % — making them some of the higher paid vanilla farmers on the planet.
- Consistency. Singing Dog vanilla comes from farms throughout the Pacific Islands, mainly in Indonesia and Papa New Guinea. This particular climate is chosen for the soil and consistency (Madagascar is well known for vanilla but it tastes different.)
- The Love.
“Vanilla is a big business of love— because everything about the process is so expensive and takes so much time.” -Marty Pairisien, Singing Dog Owner
In a conversation with Singing Dog owner, Marty, we were able to learn more about vanilla than most can imagine.
A little background: vanilla is originally from Mexico— that’s the only place where there is an indigenous little white fly that pollinates the orchids. But, skip ahead many many years to today— orchids are now hand-pollinated to create the edible fruit of the orchid flower; the vanilla bean. In order to get the orchid to flower, the plants have to be stressed in some way — i.e. deprived of water— which creates a bloom and the optional 4-hour window to hand pollinate each flower.
From that moment, it's somewhere from 6 to 8 months for the green vanilla bean to grow. The beans are then:
- blanched in water and laid out on mats in the hot sun. In Indonesia, the beans are laid in the center of tables to cure
- set out in the sun at day and wrapped up in wool blankets at night to sweat
- placed inside a wooden box to condition for months
This means, from bloom to table, it's around 2 years. And, most orchids take 3 years before the plant can bloom.
"We are not the least expensive product on the market — because we want to make sure it's clean, organic, fair trade." -Marty Pairisien, Singing Dog owner
After knowing this you begin to realize, vanilla has to be expensive. The great thing that Singing Dog realizes is that they get to support everyone that’s a part of that process. Unfortunately, their products are not inexpensive–– but, they know and take care of the farmers, the vanilla is organic, consistent taste and quality, there are no distribution costs since they only ship and they sell direct.
Singing Dogs first non-baking vanilla product was vanilla coffee, and vanilla salt is the latest product with new ideas in the works. The beginning story of Singing Dog Vanilla and what's behind their name is on their site here.