Celebrate National Real Vanilla Day at Bickleigh Castle

Celebrate real vanilla at Bickleigh Castle this October

Celebrate real vanilla at Bickleigh Castle this October - Credit: Archant

LittlePod will be holding a two-day event at the castle to celebrate the world’s favourite flavour

LittlePod will be showing why real vanilla is better at the two-day event

LittlePod will be showing why real vanilla is better at the two-day event - Credit: Archant

The first National Real Vanilla Day is set to take place on Friday, 17 October. To mark the occasion, natural ingredient company, LittlePod, has teamed up with Bickleigh Castle to hold a two-day event centred around the world’s favourite flavour.

The event, taking place on Friday, 17 and Saturday, 18 October, will be officially opened by the ‘Vanilla Queen’ from California, Patricia Rain.

Visitors will be delighted by an array of cookery demonstrations from chefs including Rick Stein’s Head Chef, Stephane Delourme; TV chef and author, Manju Malhi and SW Amateur Chef of the Year, Steve Ashworth.

Kids can also get involved with Fun Kitchen cookery classes, while adults can participate in a ‘keep it real’ bake-off competition.

There will also be talks, tastings, book signings and more.

But why celebrate vanilla?

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“We are on a precipice where we could lose pure vanilla within a generation,” says sustainability expert, Patricia Rain, who was crowned the ‘Vanilla Queen’ by the vanilla farmers due to her tireless campaigning on their behalf to get a fair deal.

Due to the availability of a cheap alternative to real vanilla (artificial vanillin, or vanilla essence), 97% of vanilla flavouring in the West is synthetic. As a result the vanilla farmers are deforesting to grow palm oil in order to make a living.

LittlePod’s founder, Janet Sawyer, says: “Vanilla essence is a cheap artificial substitute that’s synthesised in chemical reactions. Real vanilla contains over 250 well-being compounds and can be used to enhance all dishes, both sweet and savoury.

“I think it’s fantastic that the baker in the kitchen using real vanilla can directly impact on the farmers in the field in Madagascar. And what better way to celebrate the use of real vanilla than with two days filled with good company and great food in a beautiful setting!”

As well as raising awareness of the importance of using real vanilla, the event will incorporate fund-raising activities for charitable organisation, Blue Ventures, who do invaluable work with communities and the environment in Madagascar.

Dr Vik Mohan from Blue Ventures will be giving a talk on the vital projects that they are carrying out in Madagascar.

You can purchase day tickets to this exciting and tasty event from nationalvanilladay.com

Alternatively, why not take advantage of their exclusive package deal? It includes access to all events and an overnight stay at Bickleigh Castle, plus breakfast, two lunches and two three-course dinners, all for just £175pp (based on two people sharing. Visit the website for more details.

So why not celebrate real vanilla and head to Bickleigh Castle for a day of fun and food? We’ll see you there!