You probably wouldn’t think so, but it is known as the Queen of Spices in a market where it reigns as the second-most expensive spice that is being traded globally.
But the vanilla plat is a creeper that is closely related to orchids and was first cultivated by the Mesoamericans of the Pre-Colombian era. The Aztecs called vanilla, tilixochitl, and through colonization, it got its current name; vanilla which is taken from the Spanish word vaina that translates to “little pod.”
There are 3 species of vanilla in the world today; v.pompona, V.tahitensis, and v.planifolia. The former is grown in Central and South America, the West Indies, and the South Pacific while the latter is grown in regions of Madagascar. The plant began to thrive after it was discovered that it could be hand-pollinated in 1841, by a slave named Edmond Albius in French-occupied Reunion when he was just 12 years old.