Again, the ripe, elongated capsule fruits are harvested by hand between October and January. In order for the green-yellow fruits to develop their incomparable bouquet, the farmers subject their harvest to a laborious fermentation process.
After harvesting, the fruits are treated with hot steam or boiling water and then exposed to the intense sun for several hours. Overnight the fruits are sealed in airtight containers. This process is repeated daily for several weeks. Through this process, the pods gain sweetness and loose weight daily and develop their dark brown colour and aroma-forming enzymes.
But in Mexico also exists a curing process which is called “quemado”. Here after harvesting, the vanilla beans are immediately sealed in sacks and spread out in the sun for 5 hours so that they reach a temperature of 72-75 ° C. This operation is called quemado. The next step is the secado: the beans are placed in the sun for 4-5 hours a day for 15 -25 sunny days. The whole process takes more or less two months and at the end, the fragrant beans should be soft, smooth and of a deep coffee-brown color.