Vanilla plants, like most orchids, are native to Central America. They were
introduced to other producing countries by man,
dating back to the discovery of the New World.
Vanilla is the fruit of the pollination of the vanilla orchid flower
(a vine in the orchid family).
The pollination or “breeding” of the flower is artificially induced
through human intervention.
There is a great variety of vanilla plants, very few of which have aromatic properties.
The two varieties most prized for their great aromatic properties are:
*Vanilla X tahititensis (real tahitian vanilla) grown in Tahiti and its islands
(1% of world production).
*Vanilla Planifolia (Bourbon Vanilla), grown in all other producing countries,
including: Madagascar, Reunion, Indonesia, Mexico, Uganda,
the Comoro Islands and India (99% of market share).