The plant is from a climber orchid that comes from Mexico.The pods are the unripened fruits of this orchid. The pods have no aroma until they are cured. These pods are gathered and lightly sweated in barrels which are reinforced inside with wool. Afterwards, they are dried in the sun until they attain their caracteristic aroma and color. This process takes between 4 and 5 months.
Vanilla is one of the most valued and expensive spices because of the long treatment required and because these plants are only pollinated by a kind of melipona bee, by a mexican humming bird or manually.
Vanilla is used with chocolate, coffee, cream caramels, custards, ice-cream, fruit desserts and in some salad dishes.
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