Do you remember passing through that local bakery, that sweet reminiscent aroma that pulls you to buy your favorite muffin or cupcake, that aroma of your mom’s exclusive cake recipe, that nobody can ever match! One of her secret ingredients is the most loved and used spice across the baking industry-Vanilla. Here are a few facts that you might be interested to know about Vanilla. Vanilla is a spice derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily obtained from pods of the Mexican species.
Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family. The flower that produces the vanilla bean lasts only one day. The beans are hand-picked and then cured, wrapped, and dried in a process that takes 4 to 6 months. After saffron, vanilla is the most expensive spice in the world. Pure vanilla extract contains 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon during extraction, according to FDA specifications. Fresh vanilla fruits, often called “beans,” have no aroma. The characteristic aroma results from enzymatic action during curing. One tablespoon of vanilla extract has 37 calories, a large portion of which comes from sugars and alcohol. Vanilla extract comes from a plant that is very finicky and difficult to grow. Additionally, most are grown in Madagascar, which has experienced a number of storms in the last five years that have destroyed crops. Both of these factors heavily affect the price a consumer pays for pure vanilla extract. The extract is made by soaking vanilla pods in 35 percent or more alcohol for about six months. Vanilla is still the most favorite ice cream flavor. Imitation vanilla is made from commercially synthesized vanillin. If you know more such facts on vanilla, Let us know by commenting below.