Vanilla comes from a bean pod that grows on a vine-like orchid that is native to Mexico and was introduced to Madagascar and other countries in the 1800s. Here, the plant is pollinated by bees. Because Madagascar has no bees, the plant is pollinated by hand, resulting in a very time consuming and laborious process. Mexican vanilla beans have a smoother, darker and richer flavor than vanilla from Madagascar, whereas Tahitian vanilla beans are larger, milder and more floral.
3 vanilla bean pods
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