Vanilla

Vanilla – is a flavouring derived from orchids in the genus Vanilla. The name came from the Spanish word “vainilla”, diminutive form of “vaina” (meaning “sheath”), which is in turn derived from Latin “vagina”. The Totonac are from the region that is now known as the state of Veracruz (Papantla, Mexico, holds itself out as the origin of vanilla). They continued to be the world’s chief producers of the flavoring through the mid 19th century. At that time, French vanilla growers in Mexico traded their knowledge of artificial pollination of flowers for the Totonac knowledge of preparing the beans.