About the tonka bean

I've been a bit of an evangelist for tonka beans for some time. I love the scent and the taste, and I don't agree with the FDA's decision to ban them from food. The Atlantic has an excellent article (The Tonka Bean: An Ingredient So Good It Has to Be Illegal) about the allure of tonka beans, and the [asinine] reasons they're banned from food in the US.

Tonka beanTonka bean

I've put together a Pinterest board of recipes, almost all sweet, I've found that use tonka beans. I've described it as "vanilla's older, sluttier sister" and I think that's about right. It's a combination of all the baking spices you've ever loved, plus something else that's dark and funky and lovely. I had Artisan du Chocolat's Tonka Milk Bar while in London and loved the fusion of tonka and chocolate -- enough so that a coworker is bringing me several bars from London when we all meet up in Boston for the worldwide team onsite coming up in a little over a week.

Winter is coming. Baking time is coming. I'm down to one last jar of raspberry tonka bean sauce. I should fix that.

My tiny hoard of sieved raspberries are now jarred and in their water bath. (Yes, these are the raspberries I bought in MN and carted through the St. Paul, Omaha, Atlanta, and Huntsville airports. These are some well-traveled berries!)Raspberry tonka bean jam, the aftermath

The Pinterest board: http://www.pinterest.com/amycarolqualls/tonka-bean-recipes/

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