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Yes, my favorite ice cream flavor is Vanilla

From http://www.pioneerlocal.com/evanston/lifestyles/food/508278,pp-vanilla-081607-s1.article

Once upon a time in Mexico, at least 2,000 years ago, the Totonac people near Veracruz began to cultivate the curious, long, dark bean that sprang from the flower of a fragile orchid plant whose long vines climbed up tree trunks. They discovered that the bean, when carefully cured and split, contained a powerful and exotic interior--vanilla.

...Now America consumes more vanilla than any other nation on earth.

"There's something in our palate that likes warm and floral," said Gand, executive pastry chef at Cenitare Restaurants and author of Chocolate and Vanilla (Clarkson-Potter 2006, $22.50).

Gand often calls vanilla the underwear of baking, since it lays an important foundation for the other ingredients.

"I always feel vanilla is a real peacemaker that links flavors together," she said.

If you've been lulled into a sense of vanilla complacency because of substandard imitation vanillin flavoring, now may be the time to up the ante by experimenting with true vanilla.

Also from http://www.pioneerlocal.com/508273,pp-vanilla-081607-s3.article

If you're going to buy real vanilla beans, make sure you get what you're paying for, since the quality and price depend on origin and crop, much like wine.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
sclerotic_rings
Aug. 17th, 2007 06:03 pm (UTC)
And you now have extra incentive to wait until the Czarina and I have our own house: Gunter's Orchids on Campbell and Custer sells vanilla orchids ("by the foot", I might add), and I've already promised her that I'll grow one to full length just for her. Admittedly, we may have to wait another five years before it starts blooming, and I'll have to hand-pollinate every flower since nothing this far north has an interest, but I'll be giving everybody vanilla beans before you know it.
sclerotic_rings
Aug. 17th, 2007 06:58 pm (UTC)
That reminds me: I have a big fat collection of habanero peppers for your apricot habanero jelly, but I have no locale for delivery. If you'd like, we could drop them off on Sunday morning to early afternoon, but we'd need to know where.
la_azteca
Aug. 17th, 2007 08:41 pm (UTC)
I'll have to ask Mnelson, since he'll be out and about on Sunday with the only functioning vehicle we have. Or, maybe I can go by your office during the week.
la_azteca
Aug. 17th, 2007 08:39 pm (UTC)
Here's the web site for anyone in DFW who's interested:
http://www.gunters.com
You know, you keep telling me about these great resources and plants, you'll turn me into a crazy plant lady.
kishiriadgr
Aug. 17th, 2007 06:21 pm (UTC)
Mmm, vanilla. It's so hard to get a good vanilla *anything* since people always peg it as "bland" and use it to set off other things, like chocolate or berries. It's terribly unfair.

My only consolation is that the St-Hubert chain of roast chicken restaurants in Quebec feature a dessert called "Septieme Ciel" (7th Heaven) which is vanilla cake, vanilla ice cream and a vanilla sauce. To die for! Keep the chocolate.
la_azteca
Aug. 17th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC)
That dessert sounds fabulous! I think it'd would be fun to serve up different types of vanilla like that for an unique ice cream social.
ancientscripts
Aug. 17th, 2007 09:57 pm (UTC)
Vanilla is also my favorite ice cream flavor and dessert, but soufflé with vanilla sauce can give it a run for its money.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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