Vanilla is a flavouring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia).
Vanilla is a flavouring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). The word vanilla, derived from vainilla, the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina (vaina itself meaning a sheath or a pod), is translated simply as "little pod". Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican people cultivated the vine of the vanilla orchid, called tlīlxochitl by the Aztecs. Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both vanilla and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. Pollination is required to get the vanilla fruit from which the flavoring is derived.

Three major species of vanilla currently are grown globally, all of which derive from a species originally found in Mesoamerica, including parts of modern-day Mexico. They are V. planifolia (syn. V. fragrans), grown on Madagascar, Réunion, and other tropical areas along the Indian Ocean; V. tahitensis, grown in the South Pacific; and V. pompona, found in the West Indies, Central America, and South America. The majority of the world's vanilla is the V. planifolia species, more commonly known as Bourbon vanilla (after the former name of Réunion, Île Bourbon) or Madagascar vanilla, which is produced in Madagascar and neighboring islands in the southwestern Indian Ocean, and in Indonesia. Combined, Madagascar and Indonesia produce two-thirds of the world's supply of vanilla.
Vanilla is the second-most expensive spice after saffron because growing the vanilla seed pods is labor-intensive. Despite the expense, vanilla is highly valued for its flavour. As a result, vanilla is widely used in both commercial and domestic baking, perfume manufacture, and aromatherapy.

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  4. mjd

    History of vanilla pudding/blancmange

    Vanilla Pudding History May 22 is National Vanilla Pudding Day, but what we enjoy today is far different from the dish’s origins. Culinary historians believe that the precursor of vanilla pudding originated in earl early medieval Europe, an evolution of an Arab pudding-like dish of rice and...
  5. Timenspace

    Recipe Two Flamingos Cheese Vanilla Cream

    Ingredients: A half of non-gluten hamburger bun (made of rice flour, tapioca, yeast, salt, store bought) 1 tablespoon gin 100 g cream cheese 100 g condensed milk about 50-70 g powdered sugar (eyemeasured) whipping cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 6 drops of green food colour red grapefruit...
  6. murphyscreek

    Recipe & Video Vanilla Slice

    No self respecting bakery in Australia doesn't sell these. Affectionately known as "snot blocks". Ingredients 2 sheets puff pastry 3/4 cup cornflour 3/4 cup custard powder 1 cup castor sugar 500mls milk 500mls cream 4 egg yolks 1/2 tsp vanilla essence 2 cups icing sugar 1/4 cup...
  7. Hemulen

    Recipe Tiger Cake

    Tiger Cake (We thought this was better than the compact bitter lemon cake.) Serves 8-10 Preparation ~1 hour Ingredients 50 ml melted butter, cooled 50 ml macadamia nut oil or rapeseed oil 50 ml (3-4 tablespoons) sour cream/crème fraîche 250 ml (~210 g) sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla seeds 1...
  8. The Late Night Gourmet

    Recipe Rice, Rice Baby (Vanilla Rice Pudding)

    I forgot that I never posted this recipe, though I have mentioned it on occasion. It's not pretty, but it certainly tastes good. I was motivated to make some myself years ago after being disappointed consistently by the flavorless glop that's served in so many restaurants. The vanilla is only...
  9. timmyc

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    I have a simple recipe i would like to share, this will be relevant if you have an ice cream machine. 300 Grams of condensed milk. 600 ML of thickened cream. A splash of vanilla essence. Churn for 40 minutes and freeze.
  10. N

    How much of vanilla stick should I use instead of 4 drops of extract?

    Hello. I want to make a cheese cake. The recipe says I should use 4 drops of vanilla aroma (does it mean vanilla extract?) but I have one fresh vanilla stick I would like to use instead. However, I don't know how much of it should I use. Do you have any idea?
  11. GadgetGuy

    Recipe Hot Sweet Potato Soup.

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  12. Elawin

    Recipe Salzburger Nockerl

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  13. Sandra

    Recipe Risotto with artichokes and vanilla (Risotto ai carciofi mantecato alla vaniglia)

    For the first time I used vanilla in a savory dish, but this challenge has led me to try this risotto. I have to say that I was surprised by the result! Ingredients for 4 persons: 300 gr. riso carnaroli 1 vanilla pod 60 gr. parmigiano reggiano 4 artichokes lemon juice vegetable broth (I...
  14. Morning Glory

    Review In the test kitchen: Vanilla cured salmon

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  15. ElizabethB

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    Sweet potato casserole has always been a part of our family Holiday Dinner. The traditional recipe uses huge amounts of sugar and marshmallows on top. It is so sweet it should be classified as a desert. Middle sister is hostess for Thanks Giving. Last year I told her I would bring the Sweet...
  16. ElizabethB

    Recipe Vanilla Bean "Pig Candy"

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  17. ElizabethB

    Recipe Vanilla Kahlua

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  18. Morning Glory

    Ingredients which pair with vanilla

    In support of the The Spice Challenge - (November 2017), here are a few ideas about ingredients to pair with vanilla. As we all know, vanilla is most commonly used in cakes and desserts flavours but it can also be used in savoury combinations. Here are some ideas for both sweet and savoury: The...
  19. The Late Night Gourmet

    Recipe Potatoes Roasted in Vanilla Pepper Oil

    The essence of this recipe is the vanilla pepper oil. Chef Coby Lee Ming mentioned infusing oil with vanilla and pepper and using it in a vinaigrette. This sounds brilliant, but I wanted to take it somewhere else. She used pepper and vanilla bean, while I used szechuan peppercorns, pepper, and...
  20. The Late Night Gourmet

    Recipe Apple Crumble Cupcakes

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