Vanilla Vanilla planifolia
An elegant, trailing plant, vanilla supports itself on a host plant with aerial roots and the vanilla we use comes from organic farms in South India where the plants grow up Betel Nut Palms.
A type of orchid native to Mexico, the country used to have a monopoly on the crop as the flower had to be pollinated by a particular species of bee native to Mexico.
Now growing outside of Mexico each flower has to be hand pollinated with great care and attention.
The whole process of harvesting is extremely labour intensive from the pollination through to the airtight storage that activates the enzyme reaction that creates the flavour we all know and love.
After all this work it's no wonder this beautifully scented plant is considered to be a luxurious treat.