Vanilla

New World to Old World

Origins

The various types of Vanilla beans originate from the Mexico/pre-columbian areas of Central America. The Totonac people cultivated it until the Aztecs took over. Once Hernando Cortez landed in this region, he discovered vanilla and brought it back with a few other types of foods. The vanilla beans are pollinated with a certain type of bee, the Melipone bee. Since the people at the time did not know this information they did not bring back the bees, therefore the plant did not thrive for long at first.

Dishes

  • Vanilla Ice cream kolache from the Czechs.
  • Russian Tea Balls
  • Yugoslavian yeast cookies

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