November 1, 2008

Vanilla Orchid

Vanilla Orchid, originally uploaded by vicequeenmaria.

These Vanilla planifolia cuttings from the nursery were transplanted inside the fruit pavilion recently. The vanilla orchid is both terrestial and arboreal; it has roots in the ground and in the air. As you can see, it's climbing exceedingly well inside the warm and humid environment that will hopefully help it produce some seed pods. Right next to these orchids (not pictured here) are two Theobroma cacao trees. Yes, you guessed it: chocolate growing right next to vanilla!

Vanilla is one of my favorite flavors and aromas. To me, it evokes warmth, comfort and sensuality. It's such a common ingredient in so many foods; next time you detect its rich scent, remember it comes from the tropics.

What's your favorite vanilla food or memory?

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