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Thursday, September 18, 2014

LAFAZA Pure Vanilla Extract Highly Recommended by Whom You Know

Are you looking for the perfect burst of vanilla flavor from your vanilla extract? Look no further, Whom You Know is in the know once again for your culinary needs with the Lafaza brand of Madagascar Vanilla products. Pure flavor arises from pure products and we are pleased to report we have found a fabulous source from far away, now available in the United States. The reason this product is the most flavorful vanilla extract is both the use of a two week, cold extraction process that uses the finest Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans. These beans are organically grown and are non-GMO, gluten free, and all natural. The Vanilla Extract is available in two strengths so you can customize your recipes.
If you’re used to what’s on the supermarket shelf in the spice department, think again. LaFaza brings us the 3 F’s: they support Forest, Farmers, and Flavor. Yes, the flavor is tantamount, and you will find this company fulfills all promises as to the flavor. But at the same time, while you’re shopping, why not help out a grass roots group who is supporting a farming community in the far away land of Madagascar? With their incredible, lush surrounds, the farmers of LaFaza are able to produce the world’s most intoxicating vanillas. Open a bottle, and you’ll immediately be struck by the parfum, the clear beauty, of the vanilla inside. In your favorite recipes, this vanilla will add a flavor that will surprise, and delight. The vanilla extract is just one of many vanilla variations that LaFaza offers, so visit their website for a most enjoyable time in the field. And, this summer, try a vanilla soda, with a splash of vanilla extract, and some agave in your favorite seltzer, for a refreshing spritzer au natural.
Quality ingredients are so important when you are creating a culinary treat. That is why I was happy to try Lafaza Pure Vanilla extract. I know what you are thinking, all vanilla extract is the same but you are wrong. Lafaza's extract is made using premium organic vanilla beans from Madagascar and using a slow cold extraction process to bring the fullest and purest vanilla flavors out. I used the extract in my chocolate banana coating and couldn't believe the difference I tasted. Fresh, sweet, and flavorful hints of vanilla came through perfectly. The great thing is Lafaza Pure Vanilla extract can be used in so many of your favorite dishes.


LAFAZA’s pure vanilla extract is produced from a signature blend of all-natural Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans sourced directly by the company from smallholder farmers. This extract is made using a patient, cold-extraction process that highlights the rich flavors of forest-grown vanilla. LAFAZA’s house recipe contains water, alcohol, vanilla extractives, and small amounts of sugar and glycerin. The sugar is not used to sweeten the extract. Instead, a small amount of sugar provides a similar effect to aging the alcohol and mellowing its flavor. This process would otherwise take up to 2 years and is necessary to produce a high-quality flavor. The glycerin is a natural vegetable product that is added in small amounts to more completely extract the vanilla essence during the extraction process. 

The LAFAZA Story 

It started innocently enough about 8 years ago when two company co-founders, Nathaniel Delafield and Sarah Osterhoudt, joined the Peace Corps after completing grad school and spending several years in the U.S. workforce. At the time, they were looking for a new direction. They offered up a simple proposition to the world: “World, put us where you will. We are ready to get to work!” They had no idea where they would end up or what was in store for them. A leap of faith is just that, so they leapt. 

As it turns out, almost halfway around the world a small group of vanilla and clove growers in Madagascar were making a similar leap of faith about a much more serious matter. Their rural farming communities were suffering from a lack of basic resources such as medicine, educational materials, and market access for their products. With the help of a local non-profit organization, the farmers contacted Peace Corps to request volunteer assistance. They did not know what to expect and had no idea who, if anyone, would show up. There wasn’t even phone service within 200 miles. But a leap of faith is just that, so they leapt. 

The vanilla market had recently crashed, and prices were down over 90 percent from previous years. Farmers in the region were unable to connect with international markets, and even Madagascar export markets had to be accessed through multiple intermediaries offering below-market prices. The local cultivation and curing skills were exceptional, the agroforestry systems used by farmers in the region almost unbelievably lush and complex. The vanilla beans were intoxicating in their flavor and aroma. How could local growers be receiving such low prices? There had to be a better model, but surprisingly, there wasn’t. Yet. 

After many long conversations with farmers, a business concept was formed to create a direct-trade model based on fair trade principles that would bridge between local cooperatives in Madagascar and gourmet markets in the U.S. A small vanilla bean sample made its way to Oakland, California to LAFAZA co-founder James Delafield, who had been working for years in the specialty food industry. He entered it into a blind test by a major Bay Area chocolate maker that had formed a panel of experts to review ingredients. The sample was selected as their top choice among vanillas from around the world, and they asked how to get more. LAFAZA was born. 

Our company has grown from its original village-level roots, but we remain grounded in three founding principles: to create sustainable, direct supply chains that protect the environment; to follow fair trade practices that support farmer livelihoods; and to only offer the highest-quality natural products to our customers. We call it our “Triple-F” bottom line – to support Forests, Farmers, and of course, deliver great Flavors! LAFAZA’s team is proud of its work on both continents as a leader and innovator in this field, and we have many more delicious projects in store for the future.

Nathaniel Delafield, CEO and Co-Founder 
Nathaniel has extensive experience in nonprofit and business organizational development and management. He has been working as CEO of LAFAZA since helping to found it in 2005 while serving as a Peace Corp Environment Volunteer living with vanilla and clove growers. Nathaniel has a passion for gourmet food and food systems, and for the rural culture of Northeastern Madagascar. He spends his time in Oakland, CA, Madagascar, New Haven, CT, and rural Madagascar. He speaks the northeastern Malagasy dialect, and helped to organize a large farmers’ cooperative for rural growers in the Mananara region. Nathaniel holds two master’s degrees from the University of Michigan in Macro-Social Work and Urban and Regional Planning. He has a BA degree in Sociology from Wesleyan University. 

James Delafield, President and Co-Founder 
A certified food manager, James has over twelve years experience working in the gourmet food industry. After studying Resource Ecology at the University of Vermont, he relocated to the Bay Area of California – a center of food culture. Focusing on vanilla for the past eight years, James now oversees product development, warehousing, and operations for LAFAZA from Oakland. After extended trips to Madagascar for project research, purchasing, and export, James has developed a passion for the island’s rich offering of tastes and smells, as well as a keen concern for its unique flora and fauna. 

Danny Hervol, CFO and Madagascar Director 
Danny fell in love with Madagascar after first arriving in 2005 as a US Peace Corps volunteer in Community Health. After his Peace Corps service, Danny served as Project Director for a 435,000€ landscaping contract and also manages the consulting company, MAD Consulting. He holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Puget Sound and his MBA degree from The University of Phoenix. Danny has directed LAFAZA’s Madagascar operations since 2010, and is an expert in Malagasy exporting and rural agricultural project management. Danny is fluent in Malagasy and lives in the port city of Toamasina, Madagascar where he can sometimes be found hanging upside-down with lemurs at local parks.

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