- From the Nahuatl tlilxochitl, which means black flower
- In Zapotec it is called bainii, in Mixe xuucy, and siisbik or zizbic in Maya.
A member of the orchid family, it is grown in tropical forests with hot humid climate. It is a climbing plant that can reach 35 meters in length. Its large flowers come in colors ranging from white to cream, and green.
The Spaniards called the fruit of this plant vanilla, which bears beans that measure 10 to 20 centimeters as they mature and give off an intense aroma.
The species Vanilla planifolia or black flower originated and was domesticated in Mexico in the zone of Papantla, Veracruz.
Vanilla provides consumers water and carbohydrates, not to mention vitamin B2, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B, iron, and phosphorous.
As a result of its aroma, vanilla was used as a perfume for elite women beginning in pre-Hispanic times.
Vanilla is also often used in beverages, breads, cakes, desserts, ice cream, preserves, candies, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
- Madagascar is the biggest vanilla producer worldwide.
- The world’s annual vanilla production totals about 10 thousand tons.
- Mexico ranks fifth in global vanilla production.
- Vanilla from Papantla, Veracruz, has a Designation of Origin.
- 57.4 percent of Mexico’s vanilla production comes from Veracruz.