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Vanilla….that beautiful orchid

Many people enjoy vanilla. It has to be one of the most noticeable and distinct flavors we encounter.  Vanilla is native to Mexico although many assume it is native to Madagascar and the outlying neighboring islands (La Réunion and Mauritius) as these are the largest modern producers.  It wasn’t until the late 1800’s when a young man figured out how to propagate vanilla by hand that other parts of world began to produce vanilla.  Many orchids develop to attract specific insects for pollination and this is the case with Vanilla in Mexico. For vanilla the melipona bee is the only natural pollinator.  Thus all of the vanilla outside of Mexico must be hand pollinated.  At Pinch we are currently offering organically produced Vanilla from Mexico.  We are interested in adding additional varieties of vanilla and would be very interested in hearing what our customers think/desire.  Beyond the beans we also offer organic vanilla paste and organic vanilla sugar.  Soon we will also offer organic vanilla extract, and other extracts for cooking.  All this talk of vanilla makes me want to get a delicious vanilla shake.

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