Vanilla commonly comes from Hawaii, Mexico, Tahiti, Madagascar, & Indonesia; and just like with coffee each of these locations produces a bean with a slightly different taste & aroma.
Now, let’s get just a little science-y, just for a moment. A Volatile Organic Compound is an aggressive-sounding name for simply a naturally occurring chemical that evaporates easily. Often, this means that we actually notice them as scents/aromas.
Vanilla has been found to contain more than 100 different volatile organic compounds. Perhaps this incredibly complex blend of aromas explains its widespread appeal to humans.
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