Characterised by a sweetish taste and an aromatic smell, which is similar to that of cinnamon, vanilla pods (i.e. vanilla fruits) are often used in Latin countries, especially Mexico and Guatemala, to flavour hot drinks such as chocolate and tea, while in European countries they are used to enrich the taste of Christmas sweets and ice cream.
Vanilla is a climbing plant belonging to the Orchidaceae family and is native to the forests of Mexico’s East coast. The fruits are harvested when they are still unripe, they are then put into warm water. When they become brown, they are exposed to the sun and left to dry in the shade for two or three months.
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