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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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  1. Windigo

    Recipe Lemon New York cheesecake

    Not claiming it's authentic because I have never been to New York but this is what I know as such. And it does taste wonderful! For 12 slices. - 600 g cream cheese - 200 g sour cream - 200 g digestive biscuits or Graham crackers - 100 g butter - 175 g white sugar - 3 medium eggs - 2 tbsp...
  2. AgileMJOLNIR

    Recipe Ricotta and Vanilla Cream w/ Chocolate Sauce and Orange Zest

    This is a nice refreshing and not too sweet Italian inspired dessert. The Orange zest really lends itself nicely here and gives it a nice aftertaste. Ingredients 16oz/450g whole-milk Ricotta cheese 1cup/250ml heavy cream 1 Vanilla bean split lengthwise 5oz/150g dark chocolate (70% cacao)...
  3. A

    How to store part of a vanilla bean pod

    If I only need part of a vanilla bean pod, what should I do with the rest of the bean? How long will it retain it's flavour?
  4. Toffee Ice Cream Ingredients

    Toffee Ice Cream Ingredients

    Toffee Ice Cream Ingredients
  5. Vanilla Extract

    Vanilla Extract

    Vanilla Extract
  6. Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream

    Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream

    Vanilla Swiss Almond Ice Cream
  7. 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...
  8. 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...
  9. 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...
  10. 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...
  11. 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...
  12. timmyc

    Vanilla Ice Cream

    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.
  13. 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?
  14. GadgetGuy

    Recipe Hot Sweet Potato Soup.

    For this recipe, you'd need a high-performance blender. One that spins the blades at about 25.000 to 43,000 rpm allowing you to make piping-hot soup without a stove! Ingredients; One large sweet potato, sliced. 1-1/2 cups water. ! teaspoon butter. 1/4 cup light cream or half & half. One pinch...
  15. Elawin

    Recipe Salzburger Nockerl

    Süß wie die Liebe... ... und zart wie ein Kuss (Sweet as love…..and soft as a kiss) Ingredients: 6 egg whites 60 g sugar, plus a little extra for sprinkling 3 egg yolks 30 g flour 1 tbsp vanilla sugar 2 tbsp cream Lingonberries (cranberries), or raspberries Butter A little icing...
  16. 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...
  17. Morning Glory

    Review In the test kitchen: Vanilla cured salmon

    I promised to try out this recipe by Chef James Martin posted by @Elawin for the November spice challenge: Vanilla cured salmon with cucumber ketchup, charred cucumber and pickled ginger. I cured the salmon using table salt not sea salt (mainly because I didn't have enough sea salt). I used soft...
  18. ElizabethB

    Recipe Savory Sweet Potato Casserole

    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...
  19. ElizabethB

    Recipe Vanilla Bean "Pig Candy"

    My family loves "Pig Candy". I added vanilla beans for a twist. Wonderful. Ingredients: 1 lb. thick cut, apple wood smoke cured bacon 1/2 cup dark brown sugar *1/4 cup crushed pecans Seeds from 1 vanilla bean Method: Heat oven to 350 degrees F Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil (ease of...
  20. ElizabethB

    Recipe Vanilla Kahlua

    Home Made Kahlua Ingredients 4 cups brewed coffee 2 cups dark brown sugar 2 cups light brown sugar 750 milliliters Vodka or Everclear 6 tbsp. pure vanilla extract Method *Brew 4 cups of your favorite coffee Bring to a boil in a stock pot Reduce heat to simmer Remove pot from heat Stir in...
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