Vanilla is used as a flavouring in many foods we buy today. Yet most of our experiences with real vanilla are very limited especially in the UK. More and more people today are asking; "What is Real Vanilla?", because up to now vanilla was an exclusive and even elusive produce to find here.
To help you get a better understanding of vanilla, here are a few essential facts:
- The Vanilla beans that we are familiar with today are the fruit from a variety of orchid plant known as Planifolia .The orchid family is the largest group of flowering plants in the world yet vanilla is the only edible fruit found among them
- The main crop producing plant is called "Vanilla planifolia"
- Vanilla planifolia is a species of vanilla. It is one of the primary sources for vanilla flavouring, due to its high vanillin content
- Vanilla is classed as a spice in culinary terms
- It is the most labour-intensive agricultural crop
- Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world (to saffron!)
- Currently the US is the biggest importer of vanilla, followed by France