6 lesser known facts about vanilla

by Sanjeev Kapoor

It’s probably the most popular flavour in the world.  Picture this, when you walk into an ice-cream parlour, you tend to go through the entire menu, right from the orange sundae to the blueberry fondue. You will even have few tasting sessions before making a decision. But what will you eventually choose? 9 out of 10 times, the answer would be vanilla! Do you know why?! It’s probably the best, it’s the taste and it’s the relationship between the tongue and the flavor that makes it almost everytime, your first choice! 


Here are six things that you don’t know about your favorite flavour vanilla,


1. It’s black in colour: Though it’s widely cultivated in Madagascar, China and Indonesia, it is also produced in the southern states of India like Karnataka, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Originally, vanilla pods are black in colour. It’s the process that it goes through which eventually makes it mild and white.   

2. It’s used in cosmetics: Ever wondered about the mild fragrance in your liquid foundation, the rich aroma in that shower gel and that whiff when you apply that concealer? Vanilla is extensively used in many of the beauty products including soaps and body lotion for its amazing, long lasting smell.


3. It’s used in tobacco: It’s widely used in tobacco products such as cigars, cigarettes, and waterpipes for flavoring and taste. Vanilla beans are finely ground and mixed in the Hookah pots, that gives both the aromatic fragrance and the taste.

4. It’s used in medicines- Due to its chemical component known as vanillin, it’s considerably used in many medicines that reduces anxiety and almost instantly relieves you from stress. Vanilla significantly aids in reducing burning sensation and is hence used in many topical creams and ointments.


5. It’s used as an insect repellant- Due to its powerful smell, it works great against mosquitoes, gnats, houseflies etc. It’s a proven insect repellant and just a dab of vanilla water on your skin can work wonders. It’s rich in antioxidants and can soothe and nourish troubled skin.

6. It’s used in perfumes- Vanilla comes from the orchid flower of family, known for its sensuous smell. Once it is extracted from the flower, it lasts just a day. This time is used to extract maximum oil out of it that goes in making one of the best aromatic perfumes. Usually used for the top or the middle notes, leading perfume brands like Davidoff, Hugo Boss, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana extensively use vanilla in their perfumes.

Recommended recipes-

Vanilla Cupcakes with Nutella Frosting,  Kiwi Vanilla Lassi,  Baked Vanilla Yogurt,  Mango Shake With Vanilla Icecream,  Basic Vanilla Ice Cream,  Hot Chocolate With Vanilla,  Chocolate Vanilla Icecream

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.