In Case You Were Curious… About Vanilla
August 17, 2021
- 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 handpicked 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.
- In Europe, vanilla was once used in the production of certain medicines such as nerve stimulants and as an aphrodisiac.
- Pure vanilla extract contains 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon during extraction, according to FDA specifications.
- Nearly 30% of Americans choose vanilla as their number one ice cream flavor. Chocolate ranks second.
- Only the melipona bee, found in Central America, can pollinate vanilla. In other parts of the world, humans duplicate the process using a wooden needle.
- One tablespoon of vanilla extract has 37 calories, a large portion of which comes from sugars and alcohol.