Vanilla Comes from an Orchid?

Vanilla Pod or
Vanilla Bean

Yeah, the second most expensive spice in the world comes from an orchid plant pods that grows on vines (up to 30 feet long) right here in Costa Rica and other tropical countries. Read about this unusual spice in this Huffington Press Report. And I learned this week that the original owner of these apartments didn’t get all his cash flow from rent, but more from his vanilla farms in Guanacaste and other areas of North Costa Rica. It only grows between 10 & 20 degrees north or south of the equator.

Hans, the new manager, gifted me with one of these expensive vanilla pods (often called a vanilla bean) from the Von der Bom Farms when I conferenced with him this week. They are picked green and sun dried for 2 to 6 months the article says. I could take a sharp knife and scrape little bits of the nearly black stuff from the dried pod to season a dessert or whatever. I am more likely to keep it as a conversation piece in my living room fruit bowl. Vanilla Extract is made from this pod mixed with water and alcohol to make the more familiar use of vanilla. So a full pod is quite valuable and could season a lot!

Phons von der Bom, the original owner, loved the vanilla vines (his major income) and the ornamental ironwork bridge over our swimming pool features vanilla vines as does the tile work on bottom of his pool and on some doors and other objects around here. This property was his home for many years before he added the apartments (after the price of vanilla beans dropped).   🙂  What an interesting place! I learn something new every day!

Close-up of Vanilla Pod or
Vanilla Bean
Vanilla Bean Vines decorate pool bottom and bridge
on what was originally Phons’ home and personal pool before the apartments.
Hacienda La Jacaranda, Atenas, Costa Rica

And oh yes, the most expensive spice just ahead of vanilla is saffron. In case you were wondering!

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