Five Food Finds about Vanilla:
- Vanilla is the only edible fruit of the orchid family, the largest family of flowering plants in the world.
- It’s a tropical orchid, and there are more than 150 varieties of vanilla, though only two types – Bourbon and Tahitian — are used commercially.
- Vanilla grows within the 20-degree band either side of the Equator and is native to the Americas.
- The Olmeca people on the Gulf Coast of Mexico were perhaps the first to use vanilla as a flavoring in beverages.
- The Totonaca people of the Gulf coast of Mexico were probably the first people to domesticate vanilla.
Today’s Food History
on this day in…
1894 Arthur Treacher, actor, announcer was born. He later founded Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips restaurant franchise.
1904 The Ice Cream cone was invented. Charles E. Minches invents the ice cream cone for his customers convenience at the St. Louis World’s Fair (The Louisiana Purchase Exhibition). This is only one account, there are several other candidates.
1915 Vincent Sardi Jr. was born. Owner, Sardi’s Restaurant, New York, N.Y.