Fun Facts About Vanilla

Vanilla beans, some cut and some uncut. A knife is in display as well as a bottle of Kentucky whiskey. A glass container of cut vanilla beans is nearby and this appears to be the setup to make vanilla extract.

Which is Most Expensive Vanilla or Saffron?

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, with saffron being the most expensive. This is because producing vanilla fruit is very labor-intensive — from seed to harvest.

Edmond Albius Invents Vanilla Pollination

It wasn’t until 1841 that a working hand-pollination technique for the vanilla flower was discovered — by a 12-year-old slave named Edmond Albius. This discovery allowed for the global cultivation of the vanilla plant.

What is Bourbon Vanilla?

While there are many species of the vanilla plant, the most commonly used form is vanilla planifolia, also known as Madagascar or Bourbon Vanilla, named after the former name of the French Island of Réunion — Île Bourbon.

Vanilla beans, some cut and some uncut. A knife is in display as well as a bottle of Kentucky whiskey. A glass container of cut vanilla beans is nearby and this appears to be the setup to make vanilla extract.

Is Vanilla Ice Cream Good for Morning Sickness?

Due to its mild and smooth taste and non-overbearing amount of sweetness, vanilla ice cream is often used to ease nausea. Studies show pregnant women experiencing moderate to severe morning sickness can see their symptoms lessened by consuming vanilla ice cream.

Vanillin: Synthetic Vanilla

95% of vanilla dishes are flavored with vanillin, which is synthetically produced from lignin, a polymer found in wood. You can tell a dish is made with real vanilla beans as it will have characteristic black seeds.

Tlīlxochitl: The Black Flower

The Aztecs referred to vanilla as tlīlxochitl, meaning “black flower.” This is due to the appearance of the vanilla fruit once it is picked — it shrivels and turns black shortly afterward.

Vanilla Name Origin

Vanilla is a diminutive version of the Spanish word vaina, which means “sheath” or “pod,” and translates to “little pod.”

What is French Vanilla?

French vanilla originates from a French style of making vanilla ice cream — using a custard base, vanilla pods, cream, and egg yolks.

Pollinating Vanilla Bean Plants

Vanilla flowers must be pollinated within 12 hours of opening, or they won’t produce vanilla beans.

Yellow vanilla flower orchids.

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