Vanilla mexicana Mill. Orchideceae
This plant is an evergreen climbing plant, and grows wild from the southeastern part of Mexico to Central and South America. Aerial roots emerge from the underside of the leaf. Vanilla beans are produced, most in the Malagasy island. The vanillin is used for perfume and in cake as vanilla oil.
Part used: fruit
Medicinal use: flavoring agent
Main component: vanillin
Because insect pollinators for this plant are not available in Japan, we pollinate the vanilla flowers by hand.
After successful pollination, the flower remains attached to a rachis and fruit is enlarged.
Vanillin is a fragrant ingredient that is made by letting the unripe fruit ferment. This process is called "Curing".