About Vanilla
Vanilla Product
Uses of Vanilla
Vanilla History
Indian Vanilla Exporters
Vanilla picture Gallery
Vanilla was a highly regarded flavoring in Pre-Columbian Mesoamerica, and was brought back to Europe (and from there the rest of the world) by the Spanish Conquistadors. In ancient Mexico the Totonac people were regarded as the producers of the best vanilla. The Totonac are from the region that is now known as the state of Veracruz (Papantla, Mexico, holds itself out as the origin of vanilla). They continued to be the world's chief producers of the flavoring through the mid 19th century. At that time, French vanilla growers in Mexico traded their knowledge of artificial pollination of flowers for the Totonac knowledge of preparing the beans. The Coca-Cola Corporation is the world's largest customer of natural vanilla extract. When New Coke was introduced in 1985, the economy of Madagascar crashed, and only recovered after New Coke flopped. The reason was that New Coke used vanillin, a less expensive synthetic substitute, and purchases of vanilla more than halved during this period.[citation needed] The market price of vanilla rose dramatically in the late 1970s due to a typhoon. Prices stayed stable at this level through the early 1980s due to the pressure of recently introduced Indonesian vanilla. In the mid 1980s the cartel that had controlled vanilla prices and distribution since its creation in 1930 disbanded. Prices dropped 70% over the next few years to nearly $20 USD per kilo. This changed due to typhoon Huddah, which struck early in the year 2000. The typhoon, political instability, and poor weather in the third year drove vanilla prices to an astonishing $500 USD per kilo in 2004. A good crop coupled with decreased demand have pushed the market price down to the $40 per kilo range in the middle of 2005.

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