Sweet penetrating aroma and flavor. - Popular in Western cooking in ice cream, desserts, cakes, sweets, with coffee and chocolate, smoothies, yogurts, with fruits, milk, and cream-based puddings, custards and sauces.
Vanilla is a flavoring extracted form the seed pods of an American climbing orchid plant. Cortez, the great Spanish explorer, was given a drink of chocolate flavored with vanilla beans by Moctezuma, the Aztec emperor Vanilla proved to be one of the most popular seasonings discovered by Cortez.
After harvesting, vanilla beans are carefully cured by warming them in the sun. They are then put in sweat boxes to ferment and produce the volatile oil with the delicious flavor. This oil, called vanillin, is then dissolved in alcohol and used in many food and ice cream products and perfumes.