The presence of hoarfrost or givre (absent in Tahiti vanilla) is another sign of its quality as this is the formation of vanillin crystals on the outside of the pod. These crystals should not be removed as it would deprive the vanilla of some of its aroma. The use of the entire pod is also recommended as its aromatic properties are not limited to the black seeds inside but extend to the entire pod (epicarp included).
Growing conditions climatic parameters, curing methods, and harvesting period, vanilla is a natural product that can show significant differences between vanillas of the same origin. In all cases, check the geographical origin of your pods to avoid buying a standard origin instead of and at the price of a more prestigious origin.