Vanilla Nut was the first Teeccino flavor I ever created. I wanted to feature vanilla beans from Mexico where I was working to preserve rainforests with rural villages. My expertise is to source ingredients that can be sustainably harvested and the goal of rainforest preservation is to produce economic value for the standing trees and income for the people who live there.
Vanilla, the only orchid used in food, has become a favorite the world over due to its unparalleled fragrance and complex heady flavor. Vanilla is indigenous to Central America where it was discovered by the native people centuries before the Spanish arrived. The Aztec Emperor Montezuma was said to be drinking an elixir for longevity made from cacao (the bean that gives us chocolate), vanilla and honey when the conquistadors were ushered in for an audience.
Now this may seem like trivia, but do you know that each vanilla bean has to be handled hundreds of times during its 6 month curing process? They are heated in the sun and then wrapped up at night to sweat! Doesn't that bring home the wonder of nature and the cleverness of humans? It is no surprise to me that Vanilla Nut has always been our best selling Mediterranean flavor. Drink it knowing that you are helping indigenous communities find sustainable livelihoods that preserve rainforests.