Plain Old Vanilla?


A man approached an ice cream van and requested, “I’d like two scoops of chocolate, please.”  The girl behind the counter replied, “I’m very sorry, sir, but our delivery didn’t come in this morning and as a result we are all out of chocolate.”  “In that case,” the man continued, “I’ll have two scoops of chocolate.” “You don’t understand, sir,” the girl said, “We have no chocolate.” “Then just give me some chocolate,” he insisted.  Getting angrier by the second, the girl countered with, “Sir, will you spell ‘van,’ as in ‘vanilla’?” The man said, “v-a-n.” “And will you spell ‘straw,’ as in ‘strawberry’.” “Okay, ‘s-t-r-a-w’.”  “Now,” the gal went on, “spell ‘stink,’ as in chocolate.” The fella hesitated, being confused, then replied, “There is no stink in chocolate.” “That’s exactly what I’ve been trying to tell you!” she screamed. When it comes to flavors we think of: chocolate as decadent,  strawberry as succulent, but vanilla as just plain.    But vanilla is the world’s most intensive agricultural plant and why, pure, it is so expensive.  Here’s the process –

● One, vanilla takes three years for the vine to grow before the orchid flower appears (and is the only edible fruit of the orchid family).

● Two, the orchid must be pollinated, but it can only be done one day per year (and if it isn’t within twelve daylight hours, the flower will wither and die).

● Three, there is a little hood-like membrane that covers the part of the orchid which produces the pollen and it must be lifted for pollination to occur.

● Four, there is only one insect in the world (melipona bee) that knows on that one morning to: lift up the hood,  collect the pollen, and fly off to the next flower.

● Five, the now pollinated orchid must remain on the vine for nine more months  for the vanilla bean to develop.

● Six, there is no aroma when the bean is collected.  It’s only when soaked in water and heated in the sun for weeks (until down to 20% of its original size) that the vanilla flavor develops.

In the 1500s, when Spanish explorer, Herman Cortez, traveled to Mexico, he  came upon vanilla and took the bean back with him to Europe.  But for the next 300 years they were not able to produce the flavor.  It was only in the 1800s when scientist Charles Moren traveled to Mexico that he figured it out.  Moren discovered the unique relationship between flower and bee, that they must go hand in hand.  Of course, all of this totally contradicts the teaching of evolution – for you cannot have the vanilla flower in existence millions of years before the vanilla bee came about.  And who taught the bee to do all of this in the first place?

The bottom line?  The next time you enjoy some vanilla ice cream, remember, you are experiencing a tasty treat only made possible by the creative power of God.