Whether in our ice cream, cookies, or coffee creamer, most of us enjoy the sweet, sugary taste of vanilla almost every day. Once the pod is harvested, it can be used as a whole, crushed into a powder, or split and its insides scraped out. The vanilla orchid is the only orchid to produce an agriculturally viable crop. Vanilla is a member of the orchid family, a sprawling conglomeration of some 25,000 different species. The vanilla orchid is a vine-like plant that grows up trees. Posted in Vanilla Facts. Instead, test it by putting a dash in a few ounces of whole (homogenized) milk or on a sugar cube and experience the difference. Vanilla, the vanilla orchids, forms a flowering plant genus of about 110 species in the orchid family (Orchidaceae).The most widely known member is the flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia), native to Mexico, from which commercial vanilla flavoring is derived. Vanilla comes from orchids of the genus Vanilla. When she's not writing, you can probably find her swimming at the beach, playing soccer, and catching up on the latest movies (she's a big fan of award season)!  Hand pollination is the most reliable method in commercially grown vanilla. The most widely known member is the flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia), native to Mexico, from which commercial vanilla flavoring is derived. drinks. 1983. , The fruit is termed "vanilla bean", though true beans are fabaceous eudicots not at all closely related to orchids. If pollination has not occurred meanwhile, it will be shed. One Stop Shopping for Amadeus Vanilla Products It is the only orchid widely used for industrial purposes in flavoring such products as foods, beverages and cosmetics, and is recognized as the most popular aroma and flavor.  The key constituent imparting its popular characteristics is the phenolic aldehyde, vanillin. The genus was established in 1754 by Plumier, based on J. Miller. The taxonomy of the genus Vanilla is complex.. Mexican vanilla is the most prized complex and delicate, followed by Madagascar vanilla … There may be up to 100 flowers on a single raceme, but usually no less than 20. The answer can be found on hand-pollinated farms. It ripens gradually for 8 to 9 months after flowering, eventually turning black in color and giving off a strong aroma. Tara Carlson graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Public Relations and loves any and all things creative writing - which is why she is thrilled to be working with Petal Talk. A vanilla bean is a dark pod of a climbing orchid, native to Central America. The lip is tubular-shaped and surrounds the long, bristly column, opening up, as the bell of a trumpet, at its apex. Vanilla, the vanilla orchids, forms a flowering plant genus of about 110 species in the orchid family (Orchidaceae). Melipona) or hummingbirds, but this was never confirmed; the only actual documented pollination (i.e., producing seed set) is recorded for an orchid bee, Eulaema meriana, visiting Vanilla grandiflora in Peru, and pollinia of Vanilla species have been observed attached to other species of Eulaema in Panama. But have you ever thought about where this delicious flavoring comes from? We sure have! It is a member of the orchid family, the largest and oldest family of flowering plants in the world. Who else has suddenly found a whole new respect for vanilla? Contact Us Remember also that a prudent amount of vanilla extract adds flavor and a minimal amount of color to a dish, but too much may impart a bitter, unpleasant taste. It seems we have the Aztecs and Mayans to thank for the delicious sweetener (in addition to the vanilla orchid, of course). Blooming occurs only when the flowers are fully grown. 7482 Denrock Avenue ~ Los Angeles, CA 90045-1022 ~ USA Off-season or when abandoned, they may serve as habitat for animals of open forest, e.g. The main species harvested for vanilla is vanilla planifolia. Just like today, they used it to add flavor to their chocolate (which also comes from a tropical flower!) Bulk Vanilla Purchases, Amadeus Vanilla Beans Each pod contains thousands of minute seeds, and both the pods and seeds within are used to create vanilla flavoring. The flowers' sepals and petals are similar. Rather, the vanilla fruit is technically an elongate, fleshy and later dehiscent capsule 10–20 cm long.