I have had the chance to see, smell, hear, taste and touch a lot of foods over this journey so far. But today’s connection is something I know a lot of you will love, just like me.
Well, according to the International Ice Cream Association, this particular flavor is the first choice at 29%, followed by chocolate at a meager 8.9%. What can be better than chocolate you ask? Well, this particular spice is! Here is another clue- It looks like a long bean and smells like everything you can ever like in an ice cream.
I am sure you have guessed by now that we are talking about the vanilla bean.
The journey of this amazing bean started in the Caribbean along with Central and South America where it was first cultivated by the Totonacs off Mexico’s east coast. Through the years of conquests, it moved from the Aztecs to the Spanish till it was finally appreciated by the Europeans.
Due to the extremely labor intensive method of extracting this spice, it is also the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron.
Now if you are a fact finder like me, you will love these tit-bits I found while poking around:
- Vanilla plant is a vine and can grow up to 30-50 ft tall.
- Places where the Melipone bee that pollinates these flowers are not found, it has to be pollinated by hand.
- The flower blooms for only 24 hours and has to be pollinated within that time or it dies!
Well, all this talk is making me hungry!!
Now that we have got your taste buds ready – try these fun kid-friendly recipes with your little and big ones for a vanilla cake and of course a super simple recipe of vanilla ice cream. Cooking together as a family is the perfect screen-free activity that not only promotes STEM skills through direct interaction but also helps them appreciate the food they eat.
Stay tuned for more such adventures coming your way! Do not forget to tag Navi @GatorCapers when you eat your favorite vanilla ice-cream next time!