A Brief History of Vanilla

A Brief History of Vanilla

Vanilla is the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family and is native to central Mexico. The ancient Totonac Indians of Mexico were A Brief History of Vanillathe first to learn to use the fruit of the Tlilxochitl vine, vanilla pods. After their defeat by the Aztecs, they were forced to relinquish control of the exotic fruit.

The Aztecs were, in turn, defeated by the Spanish, who returned home with the precious vanilla beans – which were for many years, enjoyed only by the nobility and the very rich. Eventually, the use of vanilla, while still quite expensive, became widespread throughout Europe.

Thomas Jefferson is credited with introducing vanilla to the United States in the late 1700s. While serving as Ambassador to France, he learned the use of vanilla beans, and when he returned to the A Brief History of VanillaUnited States, brought vanilla beans with him.

Today, vanilla beans are grown in several distinct regions of the world. This produces vanilla beans with unique regional characteristics and attributes, each particularly suited to different uses.

Madagascar, the world’s largest producer of vanilla beans, is the source of the famed Madagascar Bourbon vanilla and still produces the world’s finest and most consistent vanilla. (Incidentally, the term “Bourbon” has nothing to do with the liquor produced in Kentucky – but rather, derives its name from the old name for Madagascar – the Bourbon Islands.)

Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is considered to be the highest quality pure vanilla available, typified by a creamy, sweet, smooth, mellow flavor. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla is known for its “staying power”, which makes it especially suited to pairing with rich foods.

A Brief History of Vanilla

Mexico, where vanilla originated, now produces only a small percentage of the harvest. Mexican vanilla beans, grown by skilled producers that carefully harvest and cure every pod. It’s this process that produces Mexican vanilla of exceptionally high quality and flavor.

Spicy Mexican vanilla is known by its creamy flavor that complements dishes that contain chocolate, cinnamon and other warm spices. A teaspoon or so of Mexican vanilla in tomato sauces or with citrus can also help reduce acidity.

A Brief History of VanillaThe last of the four major vanilla-producing regions is Tahiti. Tahitian vanilla, grown from a different genus of vanilla orchid (Vanilla Tahitensis Moore), is flowery, fruity and smooth.

Long a favorite of professional bakers and pastry chefs, Tahitian vanilla is known for its aromatic, fruity, cherry, anise-like flavor profile. Tahitian Pure Vanilla has a particular affinity to fruity flavors such as fruited yogurts, sorbets and fruit toppings.

Text from earthy.com

Chocolate Sponge anno 1927 / Sjokoladepudding anno 1927

A classic chocolate dessert found in “Knox Gelatine – Dainty Desserts  – Candies – Salads” published in 1927
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I mentioned in the previous post that I loved thin pancakes, but to be honest, I’m sort of a all round dessert kind of guy. So you might already have guessed, I love chocolate desserts too

Ted
Winking smile

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Walnut Milk / Valnøttmelk

A recipe for a dairy free milk found on bhg.com
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Silky nut milks are a great alternative to traditional dairy milks
and are surprisingly simple to make.
For a smoother milk, strain with a cheesecloth.

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Homemade Irish Cream / Hjemmelaget Irish Cream

A recipe for a bit of the strong stuff found on BBCfood
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Homemade Irish cream is a real treat, served it chilled with plenty of ice or sneak a drop or two into your coffee.

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Old Fashioned Marble Cake / Gammeldags Marmorkake

A classic baking recipe found in “Formkaker” (Mould Baked Cakes) published by Hjemmets Kokebokklubb in 1981 
Old Fashioned Marble Cake / Gammeldags Marmorkake

Old fashioned marble cake – a favorite back in  grandmother’s days, and just as popular today.

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Orange Syrup / Appelsinsirup

A delicious sweetener recipe found on madogbolig.dk
Orange Syrup / Appelsinsirup

Make your own thick orange syrup, and treat friends and family to the most delicious syrup for pancakes or ice cream.

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Mocha Crêpes with Pears / Mokka Crêpes med Pærer

A fancy dessert recipe found in “Robert Carrier’s Kitchen
Cook Book” published in 1980
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Robert Carrier McMahon, OBE (Tarrytown, New York, November 10, 1923 – France, June 27, 2006), usually known as Robert Carrier, was an American chef, restaurateur and cookery writer. His success came in England, where he was based from 1953 to 1984, and then from 1994 until his death.

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The Christmas Recipes – Part 3

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Cranberry & Port Gravy / Tyttebær & Portvinsaus
Cranberry & Port Gravy / Tyttebær & Portvinsaus

Vanilla Toffees / Vanilje Karameller
Vanilla Toffees / Vanilje Karameller

Cheese Bake Lunch / Ovnsbakt Ostelunsj

A low-cal lunch recipe published by
Weight Watchers International in 1974Cheese Bake Lunch_post

Internet and colour printers became the death of the recipe card collections and to be honest they are not greatly missed. I have quite a few of these card boxes and ring folders in my collection of old recipes and cookbooks and really, they are far from pracical in use. In no time the ring folders get hard to leaf through and you need to be a lot tidier than me to put the cards back in their right place in the boxes.

But as you can see, I found a solution to that problem. I scanned the lot of them and ran the texts through ocr scanning. A lot more practical solution if you ask me – Ted 😉

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Chocolate Custard / Vaniljesaus med Sjokoladesmak

A custard recipe found in “32 Entirely New & Original Lutona Cocoa Recipes” published by E & S Jt C.W.S Ltd in the 1930s.
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Text from the booklet: Everyone knows that the most nourishing, most sustaining and appetising hot beverage in the world is Cocoa.

Everyone knows it as a beverage that may be freely partaken of at any time of the day by children and adults alike, without fear of indigestion or ill effects.

But the Cocoa you drink must be the best. and there is no finer Cocoa in all the world than Lutona.

Lutona is made from the choicest varieties of cocoas grown under ideal conditions and matured in Society’s own Depots in West Africa.

Every phase of its manufacture is under the direct control of the Society and the most rigid precautions are taken to ensure that the natural purity and full food value of the cocoa are retained.

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Raspberry Sorbet / Bringebærsorbet

A nice summer dessert from the now defunct magasin.info
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If you have got an ice machine, it is easy to make this yummy raspberry sorbets. You can of course also make it in a regular freezer, but then you should stir the sorbets a few times during the freezing to insure that the dessert gets porous and light.

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Boston Cream Pie / Boston Krempai

A recipe from “McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection”
published in 1973

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The King’s Pudding / Kongens Pudding

A royal recipe found in “Mat for Ølvenner”
(Food for Beer Lovers) published by Aventura in 1987

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All dishes with royal titles sounds noble. I do not know which king has lend his title to this dish, but it is good enough in any case, as a dessert for the bourgeoisie as well.

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Rote Grütze – German Fruit Pudding / Tysk Bærpudding

A German dessert speciality found on expatica.com
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This red fruit pudding is a popular dessert in the North. It’s made from black and red currants, raspberries and sometimes strawberries or cherries, which are cooked in their juice and thickened with a little potato starch or cornflour. It’s served with cream, vanilla sauce or milk.

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Crepes Appleton

A dessert recipe from a special 17th of May menu
found on godt.no
 
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This recipe is a part of a 17th of May (Norway’s National day) menu inspired by King Olav’s favorite dishes.

Crepes Appleton got its name from Appleton House where King Olav was born. And maybe these small and airy “pancakes” were a sweet childhood memory for the  King? Crepe Appleton is still served at family gatherings there and is so popular a dessert that it might be served twice during the same meal.

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