Thursday, September 01, 2005



Vanilla is a flavor. Vanilla is a damn good flavor. Vanilla is not plain. Plain is plain. Plain, by definition, is not a flavor.

Vanilla, like chocolate, is a flavor that comes from a tropical bean. Vanilla does not occur in nature with colored sprinkles, marshmallows, or cashews. Vanilla, as a flavor extract, is a simple clear syrup.

Vanilla is not white. The mighty cabal of ice cream manufacturers have decided that Vanilla is white, but that's just marketing. These are the same people that made you believe that fruits were not vegetables, that two parties make a democracy, and that caramel-brown was a good color for a refreshing beverage. Had they so ordained, Vanilla could be chartreuse.

-This is a non-sequitur, and completely off topic, but I saw a bottle of Banana Ketchup (Bananas are not fruits by the way, but tomatoes are) the other day. Adventurous though I may be, I did not taste it. I felt it was a trap.-

Anyway, Vanilla, next to porn and cheap liqueur, may be man's best friend. Use it as a base, or use it as a garnish; use it for desert, or use it in the main course; just never ever call it plain.

5 comments:

  1. Amanda8:24 AM

    "Cheap liqueur" or cheap liquor? There is a difference. One being strongly flavored and usually inordinately sweet and served in small quantities after dinner, the other connoting a distilled spirit. I would go with cheap liquor any time. (I would assume you would too what with that pesky "small quantities" bit regarding liqueur.)

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  2. Bananas (the things we eat) are actually berries...false berries in fact (an accessory fruit where the fleshy part you eat doesn't come from the ovary of the plant but from some other part of the plant - a fig is similar). The plant itself is technically an herb, meaning it doesn't have a woody stem and it dies each year. All of this is rather irrelevant, though interesting. Oh, and vanilla (the plant part) is a vine and the part that makes that yummy flavor (which I agree is quite divine) are actually the little tiny seeds inside the bean (though you knew that, I'm just trying to be precise).

    Interestingly, vanilla flowers are hermaphrodites. To avoid self pollenization, a little membrane separates the organs (think of a flower condom). The flowers may only be naturally pollenized by a specific bee found in Mexico. Growers have tried to bring this bee into other growing locales, to no avail. The only way to produce fruits is thus artificial pollenization.

    So, your favourite ice cream flavor is a product of artificial plant insemination. Which isn't necessarily bad, just weird.

    And certainly not plain.

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  3. mmm... Hermaphrodite...

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  4. I have to concur with the delightfulness of “hermaphroditic” vanilla. But I am not one that can stop there. Whatever is in my cupboard is fair game to top the sweet simplicity of creamy vanilla. It may be some powered orange tang if I am feeling a little "risky". Or I may sprinkle on a bit of Nescafe instant flavored coffee and mix it up a little when I need that extra little kick. Carmel, in its classic excellence, in my humble opinion, is a bit drab. I enjoy the creative search for excitement within my cupboards to blend with the ever changing possibilities of vanilla. If life has given me a few bad blows, the little quart of “plain” vanilla is only a scoop away.

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  5. I am almost tempted to go buy some powdered Tang and try that tonight. Sounds like a 50-50 bar. With my luck though, I'd get confused and pour powdered onion soup mix on the ice cream...

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Be compelling.

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