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Vanilla is a spice obtained from the pod of a herbaceous liana belonging to the family of orchidaceae and it is the most famous aroma in the world. The ripe fruit is completely odourless and it acquires its unmistakable and precious scent remaining on the plant and undergoing a fermentation process. This precious fruit owes its unmistakable fragrance to the smell principle called vanillin, which varies from plant to plant depending on its origin. It is cultivated mainly in humid tropical zones, such as Antilles, lndonesia and Madagascar. Available in nurseries specialized in orchids, in Europe you can grow it in pot. The commercial name vanilla is attributed to the pods that have a length of 15 cm. Vanilla has a very exotic sweet and fresh taste which is more intense in Bourbon variety and rather delicate in Tahitian. The use of vanilla in the kitchen dates back to the dawn of time when the Aztecs mixed it with cocoa to obtain a sweet drink ancestor of our vanilla flavored chocolate. According to a legend, the Aztec emperor montezuma offered Hernando Cortés vanilla-scented chocolate, which the Spanish conqueror brought back the Old Continent. Nowadays it is used mainly in confectionery preparations to flavor sugar, chocolate, milk, ice-creams, cakes and liqueurs. 

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