July 2018 Update
Because of my aversion to Digital Yellow Journalism, I have taken to asking Dear Husband for any crisis updates, news that really affects me. This bit, or bite, of current events intersects with my request for another bottle of pure vanilla extract, the natural stuff from Madagascar. We buy this product approximately every 2 years so it’s not a high-demand commodity for me.
Evidently, it is for others!
Today, I learned about the crisis of the Vanilla Bean Shortage. A cyclone hit the island of Madagascar in March 2017. It went almost smack dab through the middle of this producer of 80% of the world’s vanilla supply. Cyclone Enawo wiped out the entire crop.
During the tumultuous event-filled year of 2017, I did tune in and turn on to American News, but I guess that foreign tragedy was overlooked because of the political coverage of unglued hysteria, the major foodstuff of News Media everywhere. I saw nothing, zip, zero, nada about this horrid and unquestionably consequential occurrence.
It is now more expensive for vanilla ice cream manufacturers to buy the vanilla bean than to purchase the dairy products and sugar for the cream-up. It was also easier for me to find a granite counter-top than quality vanilla from Madagascar! This past summer, I visited the local counter-top fabricator and I immediately spotted the slab for my new kitchen island. This expanse of hefty stone is called Belize and it is straight from Madagascar!
Vanilla competitors recommend the use of “alternative extracts” — non-GMO of course. The good news is the price has peaked ($35 for a 16-ounce bottle) and the vanilla bean crop in Madagascar is attempting a bold recovery. The less good news is that the world stockpiles of the vanilla bean were depleted while the price sky-rocketed.
Who knew?! Who even had a chance to know? So much for Media Business Channels! I had to research arcane online business “journals” and online food/recipe sites to find this information.
The vanilla bean price quadrupled during the last four years. There was also a cacao bean shortage during 2017 due to an El Niño creating an El Problemo along the equator. Climate-change-crybabies predict chocolate will be extinct in 30 years, but I daresay they and their junk science will be the first to go! They could use some dark chocolate right now!
Couple those deficiencies of dream-making ingredients with a worldwide shortage of raw materials for various makeup shades, paints, and any other products dependent on dyes, and the cookie is crumbling faster than I’d thought!
There is always the third choice, strawberry, in terms of traditional ice-cream flavors, but the strawberry crop in California this past spring was anemic. I now hear that lemon is the new vanilla! I shall cling to my potted Meyer lemon tree more tenderly!