On my recent vacation to Costa Rica I had the opportunity to go on the Spice Tour at Villa Vanilla Spice Plantation. Located just outside of Manuel Antonio, Villa Vanilla is a certified organic spice farm. They grow a number of really interesting spices and essential oil plants, including vanilla, cocoa, turmeric and ceylon cinnamon. The tour I went on was fascinating and if anyone is ever in this part of Costa Rica I highly recommend a visit.
Learning about vanilla was a big focus of the tour as they are predominantly a vanilla plantation. As I am a vanilla lover it was really neat to see how vanilla is processed from start to finish.
No more fake vanilla extract for me! Only real vanilla products from now on.
Other tour highlights included:
Tasting cinnamon bark and cinnamon tea if you have never had this before and have access to real cinnamon definitely make some. It is spicy and delicious!
Eating a fresh peppercorn. If you know me well you know that every meal I eat has to have some spice to it. Getting to eat something spicy from the source was a real treat!
The tour ended with a trip to their tasting room and this had to be one of the most beautiful views. It also didnt hurt that we got to sample a variety of tasty treats all made with their spices.
The vanilla cheesecake was to die for. I want this recipe!