Thursday, October 22, 2009

Vanilla Equals Boring!

NOT! When did vanilla come to mean boring and/or plain?

Native to Mexico, the orchid plant (V. planifolia) could not be pollinated out of Mexico because of the specific bee (Melipona) and the vine it grew on. According to Vanilla history around 1841, a 12 year old slave Edmund Abius in Bourbon (A French colony in the Indian Ocean), found a way to hand pollinate the bean and that is the way it's done to this day. That is where the name Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla comes from.

How many recipes do we have that call for vanilla? Tons! From cookies to cakes to puddings, custards even putting a little in our whipping cream, vanilla is a household staple. It's even used to make perfume. How yummy is that?

Here are a few other uses:

Drop a tablespoon of vanilla in a can of paint stir it up. When ready to use, ahhhhh, vanilla.

Deodoraize your microwave: Put a little in a bowl and microwave for a minute.

After cleaning your fridge, leave a cotton ball soaked in vanilla in the fridge. Leaves it smelling fresh!

Nah, Vanilla is not boring!


Pam said...

Congrats on the foodie blogroll!

Once Upon A Cake said...

Thanks Pam!!!!!

Libby Murphy said...

Welcome to Fodd Blogroll. You have a great site and I love your vanilla scent in the frig idea.
Happy Twirls
Halloween GIVEAWAY of French Home 7piece wine glass set if you are interested.
Happy Twirls

Queen B. said...


megan said...

wow - great ideas! I love vanilla - candles, lotion, anything. definitely going to try the microwave/refrigerator idea.

Simply Life said...

Oh I've never thought of using it for it's scent - great idea!

Trish said...

In a can of paint? Wow...who would have idea!

Brent said...

Nice! Excellent ideas for using vanilla! I especially like the vanilla in the microwave idea... particularly after reheating tuna fish casserole!

Have you spent much time using whole vanilla beans? I have been using whole beans for the past couple of years and the flavor does not compare to using extract (though i have found homemade vanilla extract is amazing, much better than what i find in the store).

I found a source online called the Beanilla Trading Company. They have 8 different types of vanilla beans and a wide range of other vanilla products. It is the perfect place to calm my vanilla cravings! You can find them at

Thanks again for the ideas!

Once Upon A Cake said...

Hi Brent:

I have scraped the seeds to make custards and flan but like you said its not strong enough so I do add extract as well. Thanks so much for sharing the site. 8 different types of vanilla!!!??? YHUMMY!!!