These beans are illegal in the us
I have here a bottle of tonka beans, which is currently banned by the FDA to put into food in the USA.
If you haven’t ever had them,
They have a totally unique and amazing flavor somewhat similar to vanilla but other than that the flavor is completely indescribable.
The best I can do is to say it’s kinda like vanilla but more woody, smokey and floral.
If you manage to get your hands on some, a really good way to show off their taste is using some in whip cream. Just get some heavy cream, add some powdered sugar to sweeten it a little, and grate in like you would nutmeg, and begin to whip. While I whip it, let’s talk about why they are illegal?
But why are they illegal? Well, they contain a lot of a compound known as Coumarin, which when consumed in high quantities can cause liver failure in rats. This ban has been in place since the 1950s
The ban may have actually been taking aim at cream soda and other artificial vanilla substitutes which had much higher concentrations. However the bean itself seems to be relatively safe, you would need to consume 30 tonka beans to reach the deadly concentration