Identification Of Pods - Knowledgebase Question

Gloucester, In
Avatar for adim
Question by adim
May 6, 2002
I wanted to send you a photo which would make it easier but will try to describe instead.

I bought a number of dried brown pods, about the size of a french runner bean, in Madeira recently, thinking they were dried bananas. I have chewed one and it does have the slight taste of a banana but obviouly is not, as they are dried pods of some sort, containing flat, oval seeds about 1cm long. They must be a fruit as I bought them from a fruit stall.

I don't know what to do with them but they were expensive!

Any thoughts please?

Answer from NGA
May 6, 2002
My first thought is that they are vanilla beans. Especially since you purchased them at a fruit stall. Perhaps you could find a gourmet cookery shop offering whole vanilla beans (as one might use to flavor sugar to use in baking) and compare them. Unfortunately we are unable to accept photos.

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