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Where does the vanilla come from?

Where does the vanilla come from?

by Water
posted: 2017-09-07 17:30:00 +0800

From the smooth and creamy ice cream to the tasty cookie and coffee creamer, we enjoy the sweetness of vanilla every day; but have you wondered where vanilla is from and how it is made? Believe it or not, vanilla is actually from a very special vanilla orchid, which is called Vanilla planifolia. Now as I am writing this article, I couldn’t help thinking about the smell and taste of vanilla.

Orchid and vanilla

There are about 30,000 known orchid species in the world; one of them is a very special vanilla orchid which creates the popular taste of vanilla for people around the world. As an agricultural crop, this kind of vanilla orchid is not easy to collect. Surprisingly, it even requires intense labor to collect the vanilla pods on the orchids to make the vanilla flavor that we use today.

Vanilla orchid is different from other orchids as it only blooms once a year, and on that day there’s only about 1% chance that it can complete the pollination. If the pollination process is successful, the vanilla orchid then officially starts its eight-month growing process before you can have any fruits. So how does this vanilla orchid meet the needs of people around the world? The answer is by using artificial pollination. Yes, same as natural pollination, there is only one chance for the entire vanilla farm to complete the artificial pollination and wait for the harvest of vanilla pods.

After harvesting the vanilla pods, we will be happy to know that all parts of the pod can be used. You could either grind it into the vanilla powder or open the pods and scrape the vanilla seeds inside. At this point, the vanilla pod has been used to its full. Today, vanilla extracts that are made from vanilla orchids are widely used in different areas such as food, drinks, medicines, and perfumes.

History of vanilla

Regarding the origin of this sweetener, it seems that we need to thank the Aztecs and Maya. Although some people used vanilla before them, the Aztecs and Mayans were the first to use vanilla sticks and to record the harvest process and the usage of this incredibly aromatic and sweet plant. So, what did they use vanilla for? Just like people in modern times, they put vanilla into the chocolate drinks (chocolate is also derived from the seeds of a tropical plant) to add aroma.

This is a Hong Kong GGB original 'Where does the vanilla come from?' blogpost.
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blog written by: # Water (41)
Water, Editor

A new blogger who is addicted to The Internet. Love searching flower relative news all over the world. Seasonal flower, floral arrangement, luxury food & wine kind of things.     > more...

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