Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla (Vanilla planifolia) is by far the most popular of the 3 cultivated vanilla species – Vanilla planifolia, Vanilla tahitiensis and Vanilla pompona because of its characteristic strong delightful aroma. The higher vanillin content in addition to the long and intricate bourbon curing system employed by the Malagasies set the flavor of the Madagascar Vanilla Bean miles ahead of the competition. Indicative of the high vanillin content, they may develop the striking crystal-looking features on the surface as they age. The Madagascar Bourbon species is the classic and standard vanilla bean, to which all others are measured. Often, it’s referred to as the King of Vanilla.