Frequently Asked Questions

How do you say the name Heilala?

Heilala is pronounced 'hey la la'. The Heilala flower is the national flower of Tonga. 'Heilala' is also the name of one of the daughters of the Latu Family that the company is in partnership with.

What makes Heilala Vanilla different?

  • The freshness and quality of Heilala Vanilla beans sets them apart. Heilala Vanilla Beans are glossy, dark brown and supple—all indications of quality and freshness.

  • Heilala Vanilla is traceability from their plantations straight to the consumer’s pantry ensuring that there is s no unnecessary handling.

  • Heilala Vanilla partners with growers throughout Tonga to provide employment along with access to running water, housing, and facilities for education.

What variety are Heilala Vanilla beans?

Heilala Vanilla is the Bourbon variety, often called Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. Its flavour is described as creamy, sweet, and rich.

Where are Heilala Vanilla beans grown?

Heilala Vanilla Beans are grown in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Where are Heilala Products manufactured?

Heilala Vanilla products are manufactured in Tauranga, New Zealand.

How does Vanilla grow?

Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family. The large orchid plant bears a small flower that must be hand pollinated on the day of opening. After pollination, in approximately nine months a fully-grown green bean is ready to be picked. The green bean then undergoes a complex process of drying and curing where the flavour develops and the bean turns dark brown.

What is Heilala Vanilla Extract?

Heilala Vanilla 100% pure extract contains vanilla bean extractives, ethanol and mineral water. Heilala Vanilla Beans are chopped into small pieces and placed in a cold-extraction system, which continually passes water and ethanol alcohol through the beans for several weeks to ensure that the vanilla’s 200+ flavour compounds are extracted. The mixture is then diluted with mineral water and placed in stainless steel fermentation tanks for three months of ageing before being filtered and bottled. An extract’s quality depends as much on the quality of the vanilla beans as it does on the extraction process.

What is Heilala Vanilla Paste?

To create Heilala Vanilla Paste, vanilla seeds are suspended in Heilala Vanilla Extract allowing the paste to be spooned out as required. Heilala Vanilla Paste has been developed as a convenience product as recipes often call for the whole vanilla bean to be spilt and seeds scraped. One teaspoon of paste equals one vanilla bean in terms of flavour and number of seeds.

What does “fold” refer to?

The "fold" of vanilla extract or paste refers to the concentration of vanilla per liter of liquid that is the relative strength of the vanilla extract. Heilala Vanilla’s retail products are single fold. Food service and gourmet food manufacturers often use Heilala Vanilla in a double-, triple- or five-fold concentration. There are standards for vanilla extract set by the FDA in the USA.

What flavour does vanilla add?

Vanilla is often referred to as the “underwear of baking”: It’s an invisible essential. Like salt, it supports, balances, mellows, and gives depth to dishes. It can also star on its own in ice cream, custard, shortbread, and crème brûlée. At various doses and concentrations, vanilla can enhance the flavours of chocolate, coffee, nuts, and fruit. When used with citrus, it tends to tame the acidic bite.

How should a vanilla bean be used?

To use a vanilla bean, split lengthwise — being careful not to poke all the way through — and scrape out the seeds. Some recipes will ask for the bean to be immersed in the liquid and then discarded. This ensures all the flavour from the bean is carried into the dish. The discarded vanilla bean can be dried at room temperature over a few days and placed in a jar of sugar.

Why do some vanilla beans have crystals?

If you see beans that appear to be dusted in sugar crystals. Those white flecks are vanillin crystals, which can appear when beans are stored in a cold environment. It is recommended to store Heilala Vanilla Beans is in a cool, dark place—the pantry or spice cabinet is perfect.

How should vanilla be stored?

Heilala Vanilla products should be stored in a cool, dark place such as the pantry or spice cabinet.

Are Heilala Vanilla products gluten free?

All Heilala Vanilla products are gluten free. Heilala Vanilla Extract is made using only vanilla beans, water, and alcohol.

Is Heilala Vanilla Kosher certified?

Heilala Vanilla beans have Kosher Certification from the Kosher Licensing Authority.

Is Heilala Vanilla Halal?

Heilala Vanilla Beans, Ground Vanilla Bean Powder, and Alcohol-Free Pure Vanilla are Halal compliant.