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Vanilla (spice) – properties, origin and use in the kitchen

Vanilla is one of the most expensive spices in the world, for its high price is due to its origin and properties, because Vanilla gives unique and unique flavor and aroma, which makes it applicable in the kitchen. Check what other properties vanilla has and obtained from Vanilla oil

Vanilla planifolia (Vanilla planifolia) is a spice that has many properties, thanks to which it has been used not only in the kitchen. Vanilla is characterized by a unique, deep, unique taste and intense but pleasant aroma.

However, it takes it only after the break, when it is subjected to the process of fermentation and drying .A fresh vanilla is odorless.After the fermentation and drying process vanilla pods not only smell beautiful, but also take on a dark color, with a delicate white coating of vanillin. for the characteristic taste and smell of vanilla.

However, it is only a few percent of a vanilla pod, therefore its acquisition is very limited and the price – high. For this reason, a cheaper substitute vanillin with the same name is produced, including lignin, eugenol or lignosulfonic acids .

Vanilla, when it grows, produces vanillin, which is responsible for the taste and smell of the spice. It is accepted that the older vanilla, the better it is.


Vanilla – what is the origin of this spice?

Vanilla is a condiment whose origin is well known, Vanilla is derived from the tropical forests of South and Central America.

However, it is now grown in many places around the world. Currently, the main producer of this spice is Madagascar, where Bourbon vanilla (Bourbon vanilla) comes from.

Moorish vanilla, originating from Mauritius and Seychelles, is also distinguished, however vanilla originating from Mexico (Mexican vanilla) is considered the best in terms of quality


Vanilla – health properties

Vanilla will help with nervous tension and stress, and many researchers say that the smell of vanilla can awaken positive feelings in people.

Spraying it in eg in a hospital waiting room or clinic could ease the fear of patients and reduce their reluctance to medical staff.

In addition, vanilla will help people who have trouble sleeping, just sprinkle the corner of the cushion with vanilla oil to make falling asleep easier.

You can also use vanilla oil for air aromatization (lamps, aromatic fireplaces, humidifiers).

In addition, inhaling vanilla aromas inhibits the activity of the centers in the brain that are responsible for stress, so if you eat sweets or chips under stress, use vanilla to season the dishes.


Vanilla – natural aphrodisiac

Vanilla reduces the appetite for sweets, but increases it to sex. In Kamasutra, vanilla is considered one of the strongest aphrodisiacs

All because of the content of phytoferomones – compounds that increase sexual activity.” In South America, women, to seduce a man, give him drinking chocolate with a vanilla stick in it.


Worth knowing

Vanilla – interesting facts

  1. The Aztecs called the vanilla fruit \ “tlilxochitl \”, which meant \ “black flower \”.
  2. In pre-Columbian times vanilla flowers were so valuable that they were paid taxes.
  3. Vanilla went to Europe in the sixteenth century thanks to the Spanish conquistadors.One of them was treated with Tlilxochitl – a chocolate drink in which vanilla sticks were dipped.Delighted with taste, he decided to bring vanilla to Europe.
  4. The name \ “vaynilla \” (small pod) was used first in 1658 by naturalist Willem Piso.
  5. In nature vanilla flowers are able to pollinate only a few species of bees and hummingbirds that have developed the appropriate skill.For this and other reasons, vanilla flowers are mostly pollinated by hand.
  6. Vanilla releases flowers that open only for a few hours during the day.If they are not pollinated at this time – they fall off.
  7. There are over 100 species of vanilla, but only flat-leaf vanilla is used in the food industry.
  8. Vanilla flavors includetobacco, although nowadays a different species (Vanilla pompon) is mainly used for this purpose
  9. Vanilla is available in stores in four forms of vanilla sticks, vanilla extract, vanilla powder and vanilla sugar.


Vanilla can help to treat sickle-cell anemia

Sickle-cell anemia is a genetically conditioned disease in which the red blood cells are deformed, which tend to clump together, and further to create blockages in the vessels.


As the specialists from the Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia have pointed out, before changing the shape of red blood cells, it can protect vanillin – a compound responsible for the vanilla flavor and aroma.” However, this effect of vanillin was observed only in test tubes.

In the human body, it is broken down by digestive enzymes and does not reach the bloodstream, so a team of American scientists began research using a chemically modified variant of vanillin that is resistant to digestive enzymes – MX-1520

The compound was designed to change in the body of humans and animals into active vanillin. The first attempts of rodents with sickle-cell anemia were successful – most of the synthetic compound was changing in their body into vanillin, which prevented the deformation of red blood cells.