The lucky bean !
In Guyana, to make a wish you need a Tonka bean in the left hand and a dead snake in the right. For the wish to come true, the bean needs to be thrown in a river and the snake needs to be tied to the highest branch of the tonka bean tree: the Cumaru or Brazilian teak tree. The name Tonka comes from tupi, the language of the Tupis in French Guiana.
The Cumaru is a gigantic tree which acts as a green lung for the earth and produces orange fruit which look like mangoes. Once ripe, this fruit produces red oblong seeds about the size of an almond which are dried for a whole year and then plunged into strong alcohol for 24 hours. After this long process, they are dried again and become black and wrinkled.
Its aromas of almond, vanilla, caramel, coffee for some and tobacco for others, are deliciously delicate. Its warm and indulging taste is slightly bitter like cocoa. Grate the tonka bean into your compotes, cream desserts, chocolate desserts, and use it to enhance butternut squash soup and sweet potato.
|Shelf life||3 years|
|Genus and botanical species||Dipteryx odorata|