Rich, creamy, warm and thoroughly intoxicating. There is nothing quite as intricate as vanilla. Everything about it is indulgent, but at the same time comforting and reminiscent of something close to home.
Vanilla is said to be a member of the orchid family and is native of South and Central America and the Caribbean. One of the very first people to have cultivated it was the Totonacs of Mexico’s east coast, but the Aztecs acquired vanilla when they conquered the Totonacs in the 15th Century; the Spanish, in turn, got it when they conquered the Aztecs.
Drinking chocolatl with a dash of vanilla was common among The Aztecs and Europeans, once they got used to it followed suit. Vanilla was thought of as nothing more than an additive for chocolate until the early 17th Century, when Hugh Morgan, a creative apothecary in the employ of Queen Elizabeth I, invented chocolate-free, all-vanilla-flavoured confectionery. The Queen absolutely adored them. By the following century, the French were using vanilla to flavour ice-cream, a delightful treat discovered by Thomas Jefferson in the 1780s, when he lived in Paris as American Minister to France.
Although the epic tale of vanilla began in the 15th Century, it came late to recipe books. According to food historian Waverley Root, the first known vanilla recipe appeared in 1805. One of the biggest challenges with vanilla today is its price. Vanilla is, in fact, the second most expensive spice in the world (after saffron) because the production of vanilla is extremely labour-intensive.
Rich In Antioxidants
Vanilla is a spice jam-packed with very high levels of antioxidants, which protects you against free radicals and toxins. Antioxidants are the most significant benefit of vanilla because, believe it or not, they help repair your body at the molecular level. Some researches show that there is a link between the intake of vanilla and the reduction of risks in various diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. Plus they help reduce the effects of ageing and promote healthier and more vibrant skin.
Good For Your Skin
Typically, inflammation is a good thing as it is the body’s response to any outside threat like microbes. However, when this condition persists due to certain factors, it can be uncomfortable and unpleasant.
Thanks to its abundant antioxidant content, vanilla is a potent anti-inflammatory substance, making it a great addition to massage oils to help soothe inflamed or irritated skin.
We all know how delightful desserts can be. When you are unhappy, what do you do or when you are exceptionally down? A tub of vanilla ice cream all to yourself does the trick.
Well, it turns out there is a scientific explanation behind that. Vanilla, in particular, can be an effective antidepressant. And while the antidepressant benefits of vanilla might not work for everyone, its pleasant aroma and rich texture might! Sometimes, vanilla is all it takes to lift your mood!