What Are Tonka Beans and What Are They Used For?

What Are Tonka Beans and What Are They Used For?

Tonka beans are not something that you’d regularly find on the shelves at a grocery store. They are more of a specialty food boasting their very own unique flavour and aroma. Once you taste one, you’ll be hooked. They smell much like cinnamon, cherry, vanilla and almond and the flavour seems to adapt with the food the beans are being served with.

This food could be considered to be a spicy, fruity bean that is most often used for desserts but can be added to main courses as well. These black pods originate from South and Central America, and provide a unique and deep taste sensation that can’t be rivaled by any other type of bean.

When purchasing tonka beans, you should be looking for dark brown or black beans that are shriveled and about an inch long. They should be dark and firm in appearance and shouldn’t crumble easily. They need to be stored in an airtight container in a dry cool area, and when stored properly, they can last for months. It’s best to use them earlier than later, however, since they tend to lose their flavour over time.

The beans can be used in both savoury and sweet culinary creations or even be added to a cocktail syrup for a completely different splash of flavour. Many world-renowned chefs and bartenders would never be caught without tonka beans by their sides!

One of the best ways to get started with this intriguing food is to simply replace the vanilla called for in a certain recipe with an equal amount of tonka beans. You’ll notice both a similarity and a vast difference between ordinary vanilla and these beans.  

If you’re looking for tonka beans and need them in bulk quantities, we can supply them by the truckload, the crate, the skid or by the box. At Almondena we supply premium foods to restaurants and food establishments across Canada at wholesale prices. Learn more about our high-quality tonka beans and our wholesale pricing policies at www.almondena.com.