Vanilla is derived from the pods of a South American Orchid and was introduced to the world along with chocolate by Spanish conquistadors. Both vanilla and chocolate were immensely popular in Europe and attempts were made to cultivate vanilla in various locations. The attempts to plant and grow the smoothly flavored bean were futile until it was discovered that it was possible to hand pollinate the plant. Upon discovery of hand pollinating methods vanilla was planted in Madagascar where it is now principally grown. Vanilla is excellent in baking where the seeds can be used as a flavoring or the whole bean can be used. | Vanilla Beans are a decadently smooth and creamy sweet treat. Great in baking and making drinks.