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Our Blog: Chocolate Talk

Hedonist History Lesson: How Vanilla Bean Came to Be

Our Vanilla Bean Truffle Our Vanilla Bean Truffle

Spring has sprung. and we've been happy hedonists ever since because we now get to share our new Spring Truffle Collection. One of the standouts in this assortment is our newly-created Vanilla Bean truffle. And just like it's rich in flavor, vanilla bean is rich in history.

Vanilla is derived from orchids. It was first cultivated by the Totonac people in what is presently known as Veracruz on the East Coast of Mexico. According to Totonac mythology, Princess Xanat and her lover fled to the forest after her father, forbid her from marrying a mortal. After eventually being captured, the lovers were beheaded and the vine of the tropical orchid grew from their blood on the ground. It's an intense but interesting origin story.

The Totonacs would be conquered by the Aztecs in the 15th Century and, understandably so, the Aztecs would inevitably come to love the taste of vanilla. After Aztec subjugation, the Totonacs paid tribute by sending vanilla fruit to Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. Mexico would remain the chief producer of vanilla until the 19th Century. This would change when French entrepreneurs began sending vanilla fruits to  Madagascar, the islands of Réunion, and the Comoros Islands with instructions of how to pollinate the flowers. Eventually, this proved successful as the three areas accounted for 80 percent of of the world's vanilla production by 1898. Today, Indonesia is responsible for 58 percent of the world's vanilla fruit production and the vast majority of Bourbon vanilla production.

As an homage to its rich history, we wanted to create a Vanilla Bean truffle to debut in the Spring Truffle Collection. Vanilla's presence in this seasonal assortment feels perfectly fitting. It's a refreshing and has always been highly sought after -- much like the way we feel about the season of spring after a long winter.

Pleasure, handcrafted. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates are handmade with fresh ingredients to give as gifts or indulge yourself.
© 2018 Hedonist Artisan Chocolates. All Rights Reserved. Hedonist Artisan Chocolates 674 South Avenue Rochester, NY 14620 585.461.2815
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