Papantla, The Birthplace of Vanilla

Vanilla, one of the most expensive spices in the world, finds its origins in the fertile lands of Veracruz.  Vanilla is actually a type of Orchid which is native to the Papantla region of Veracruz. Due to the unique ecosystem of this region it is only found here and can only be grown in other tropical climates through artificial pollination. This black flower or “Tlixochitl” was first used by the Totonacs in rituals, offerings, perfumes and in healing. It wasn’t until the Aztecs added it to their cacao that it was used for its taste.  When Hernan Cortez travels to the new world he is captivated by the taste of this beverage and brings this new spice to the old world and thus begins the exportation of one the best things Veracruz has to offer.

Since then, Vanilla has crossed all borders and embedded itself into all kinds of cuisines around the globe. Imitation vanilla extract is available in supermarkets around the world, yet only here in the tropical region of Papantla Veracruz can you find true vanilla, the flavor that Cortez fell in love with, and the one that the Totonacs discovered.

Veracruz has this and so much more to offer, come and discover a state that has beautiful beaches, mountains, jungles and pyramids. Come and Discover Veracruz!

Sources:

http://www.biodiversidad.gob.mx/Biodiversitas/Articulos/biodiv66art1.pdf

http://www.vanillamexico.com/vahistoria.htm

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