The fruit is gathered when it has reached its final size and is a brownish-yellow color, nine months after fertilization.
The harvest is planned according to a calendar established by a governemental control commission about every 7 days during the harvest time (6months) and by geographic sectors.
The lots are then weighed and sold at auction to local preparers.
The Vanilla X Tahitensis variety has the advantage of not splitting at maturity.
We then speak of indehiscence of the fruit.
We can therefore delay the harvest until an advanced stage of maturity.
Its taste and smell qualities will be greatly developed.
In contrast, the fruits of Vanilla Fragrans (bourbon vanilla) must be harvested green from the seventh month.
If you wait until fully ripe, the pod begins to brown and split.
The pod is said to be dehiscent.
Finally the beans are harvested by hand, bean after bean, day after day, carefully and methodically.
Only fruit which has reached full maturity(dark brown color) is selected, a selection process identical to that used with grapes for “Vendanges Tardives ” and the “Sélections grains nobles” fines Alsace wines.
This very late harvesting process, unique in Polynesia, makes it possible to enhance the taste and aromatic qualities of Tahitian Vanilla.
This is why Alain Abel and his team consider it essential.