An orchid with a complicated past

Vanilla's history, and recipes, can be both sweet and sour

When you walk by a bakery making vanilla-studded treats, the waft of vanilla is a whole-body sensation. Its heady, intoxicating scent is comforting and almost sensual, tickling our noses but also soothing and alighting our hearts and souls.

Perhaps this is in part due to its ubiquity in modern desserts, but the real reason lies …

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