Vanilla beans (pods) are the dried unripe fruits the orchid Vanilla planifolia. Every flower is pollinated by hand and each blossom produces a single bean that is normally harvested after 8/9 months. The unripe beans are picked when yellowish in color and are boiled in water for 3 minutes. They are then dried slowly over the next 3 to 4 months in the sun. Each day, they are exposed to sunlight for 2 hours, then covered in blankets and taken in at night to allow the chemical process to take place. The beans shrivel, become flex