Vanilla is a product, which can be found in every country, as today it is distributed worldwide. There are several reasons for choosing this culinary product for the research. It is widely known, as practically every restaurant in the world offers dishes with this ingredient. It is actively used while cooking bakeries such as cakes, pies, and cookies (Ho, Shahidi, and Contis 139). For example, vanilla consumption in the United States of America is relatively high, as the country consumes approximately 2000 tons per year (Havkin-Frenkel 5). Another interesting fact is that a majority of vanilla powder is used in ice cream manufacturing. Moreover, vanilla has many benefits, which have a positive influence on one’s health. Furthermore, this product is also used in other industries. These facts were the primary drivers of my choice, as possible solutions to vanilla usage in different industries could be introduced.
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The popularity of vanilla might be a key driver and motivation for opening a restaurant, which only offers dishes with this ingredient. This specialization will help a business stay competitive in the dense restaurant business. Furthermore, if a founder of the enterprise owns his/her own vanilla plantation, it could be beneficial, as the cost will be dramatically reduced.
Moreover, the cooperation of agricultural businesses with companies from other industries could be established. As it was mentioned earlier, vanilla has a charming and exceptional flavor. This particular characteristic could be beneficially used in order to set up a network of food and fragrance production. In this case, high volumes of products will be sold and distributed. It will help a farmer generate higher revenues and avoid a stage of stagnation in a long-term perspective.
Additionally, pharmaceutical and cosmetic producers are also interested in this ingredient. Since it has positive and unique qualities, it attracts more and more people to utilize this product. Furthermore, as the smell is rather distinct and dense, it has a significant influence on an individual’s mood. In aromatherapy, different odors are used to affect an emotional state of an individual (University of Maryland Medical Center par. 1). Consequently, partnerships with various spa centers could be established, as a majority of them uses vanilla extract for massage.
In terms of the hospitality business, excursions to the plantations can be arranged. The visitors will get an opportunity to see a production process in real life and even take part in it. It will cultivate interest among tourists and encourage people to travel to the countries with vanilla’s plantations.
Today vanilla is not just a culinary product. It is something more with its own heritage and history. Today it is widely used as it has a plethora of exceptional characteristics and benefits. It could be said that all these ideas will help me build a successful career in the future, as the usage of vanilla is not limited only to the food industry. Finally, it can be concluded that this culinary ingredient has a bright future, as its popularity is instantly growing.
This essay covers different topics in order to understand the significance and influence of various factors on the development and popularity of vanilla as a culinary ingredient. Firstly, the historical background is discovered, as it helps to see the product’s origins. Secondly, possible change agents are introduced. Thirdly, cultural values and traditions of ancient tribes have to be taken into account, as this evaluation encourages a better understanding of vanilla’s manufacturing and usage in everyday life. Innovations and future trends are also discussed, as it allows seeing possible ways of a transformation of vanilla’s plantations. Ethics looks at vanilla plantation from a social perspective. In the end, the conclusion is provided.
A historical context is another important aspect, which is chosen for evaluation since it allows seeing the origins and development of the ancient usage of vanilla. As for history, the Mayans and Aztecs used vanilla to add a unique flavor to their traditional beverages (Kumar 117). Moreover, Central American tribes were using it as a medicine and food flavor additive (Weiss 136). It could be said that vanilla was used as a ritual drink component, which has to be consumed by the leader of the tribe.
It has to be mentioned that a lack of expertise was the primary reason for drying pods, as it was the easiest way to prepare them for possible consumption. Nonetheless, a similar technique is used to make vanilla today. It is commonly known that nowadays a majority of operations are performed by machinery. It could be said that this fact eases the production process and reduces the amount of time required. However, ancient tribes did not have enough knowledge and resources to manufacture special machinery for planting.
However, the hot chocolate drink, which was consumed by the leader of the Aztecs, reminds of the modern hot chocolate beverage with vanilla supplement (Weiss 136). This fact is surprising and unusual, as it is hard not to lose the original representation of the drink over time. An absence of the change is unexpected, as it was first transported to Spain. Spanish people could have changed the original recipe and modify the production process. However, it could be assumed that the originality of the beverage played a vital role in its development, as a drink was considered as unique. This fact helped the Aztecs’ beverage remain the same and gain popularity in the world.
Another interesting fact is that the beans were used as currency in Mesoamerica (Staller and Carrasco 48). Vanilla pods were considered as valuable products and could be exchanged for the other necessities. Subsequently, only Aztecs and Mayan leaders were able to flavor their drinks with this spice. It could be said that vanilla was a symbol of wealth and power in ancient times. As the leader were literally were flavoring their drinks with a money equivalent.
After it had been transported to Europe, it was used a fragrance, as it has a unique and delicious smell (Staller and Carrasco 48). However, it was still considered as luxury as only aristocrats used it (Staller and Carrasco 48). It was expensive and hard to purchase, as it was transported from distant lands. However, after a while, it gained popularity among other social classes, as the transportation network became well developed, and products and goods could be delivered faster and in larger amounts. Consequently, the costs for distribution were lower than in the past.
It is important to see the influence of the historical background on the modern usage of the spice. It could be said that it is not special anymore, as it could be purchased in any store. However, an initial usage of vanilla as a hot chocolate supplement remains unchanged.
In this section, change agents, which have a vital impact on vanilla and its reputation in the world, are discovered. It could be said that a primary change agent, which emphasized vanilla’s popularity, was an observation of its usage in the traditional Aztecs’ drinks discovered by Bernal Diaz (Weiss 136). Bernal Diaz and Herman Cortes were fighting with the Aztecs in order to gain the territory (Castillo xx). Castillo’s writings and notes helped the researcher rebuild a chronological order of events. Additionally, the book had many details of the ordinary life of the Aztecs. Bernal Diaz was able to focus on details and observe any small change in behavior, traditional cuisine, values, and attitudes. These facts helped Bernal Diaz, who was a person with an exceptional character, discover the popularity of vanilla as a flavor additive among the Aztecs.
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It could be said that Bernal Diaz was a key figure in vanilla history, as he encouraged its distribution to Spain (Weiss 136). After that, vanilla became famous and was delivered to other countries around the globe. It could be concluded that this was a primary historical change agent, which helped vanilla become an important culinary spice. Today a vanilla flavor is a common additive to various dishes such as pies, cookies, and cakes. Moreover, it is used as a flavor additive to hot chocolate, and it is a surprising fact, as it was able to save its original usage over the years.
As for transportation, it is also one of the most important change agents for vanilla. The Industrial Revolution is one of them, as many changes occurred during this time. Many improvements were established in different spheres of everyday life. Moreover, these vital changes enhanced the production and distribution of nutrition and other necessities. The transportation was not a challenge during these times, as many roads and ways were built (“Transport and Communication” par. 1). The transportation network became more sophisticated and advanced, as various methods of delivery were established. It could be concluded that this fact also had a positive influence on the distribution of vanilla and its rapidly growing popularity around the globe, as it was possible to transport it faster.
It could be said that Bernal Diaz and the establishment of sufficient transportation networks were the primary change agents, which affected the future of vanilla. Firstly, the presence and possible usage of vanilla were discovered. This fact dramatically changed today’s food industry, as now vanilla is used in bakeries and beverages as a flavor additive. Moreover, another impact of Bernal Diaz is the ability to evaluate the importance of this spice and encourage transportation to Spain. Roads and routes’ development was another important factor, which promoted the transportation of vanilla around the globe. It became easier to plan travel routes in order to deliver the goods on time. Transportation network still plays an essential role in goods delivery.
Today vanilla production takes place in several countries. The primary producers of this culinary ingredient are “Mexico, Brazil, Madagascar, Tahiti, Comoros, Reunion, Indonesia, Guatemala, and India” (Kumar 115). In this section, the location and surface of each country are evaluated.
Mexico’s neighboring countries are the United States of America, Belize, and Guatemala (Simpson 4). It is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of Mexica (Simpson 4). It might seem surprising and question the existence of plantations, as the land is deserted, and the climate is dry. However, the Mayans were able to locate their settlements in lowlands by the Pacific Ocean in order to receive more rain. Living in the tropical forests allowed the Mayans to cultivate vanilla. The presence of the water was the essential factor, which affected the ability to have plantations in Mexico.
Brazil is also located in South America and has “common borders with every South American country except Ecuador and Chile” (Holiday 6). The country is situated by the Atlantic Ocean (Holiday 6). Location by the ocean also allows Brazil to maintain a balance between drought and humidity. This aspect gives a hint of understanding the reasons for the establishment of Brazil as one of the key exporters of vanilla.
Guatemala is another producer of vanilla, which is located in South America. It borders with Mexico, Honduras, Belize, and El Salvador (“Geography and Climate” par. 1). As for the geographical zones, Guatemala’s territory includes different variations starting with rain forests and ending with “snow-capped volcanic peaks” (“Geography and Climate” par. 1). It could be assumed that Guatemala is a successful exporter of vanilla, as it is located in favorable geographical conditions.
As for Indonesia, it is situated on the islands (Lamoreux 3). Consequently, it is surrounded by water on all sides. Moreover, the country is located in a seismically active area, as there are numerous amount of active and inactive volcanoes (Lamoreux 4). It is commonly known that geographical location vehemently affects the climate of the country. In the case of Indonesia, as it is located in the subtropical zone, the climate is humid. These factors explain the presence of vanilla plantations in Indonesia, as it has favorable conditions for the cultivation of this spice.
Madagascar, Tahiti, Comoros, and Reunion are evaluated simultaneously, as these countries have similar geographical characteristics. All of the presented countries are located on the islands. Consequently, their climate encourages the rapid growth of vanilla and multiple harvesting procedures during the season.
Lastly, India’s geography is discovered. India is a vast country with an impressive deviation between the lowest and the highest altitudes. Its coastline is approximately 7,000 km in length (“India – Basic Facts” par. 1). The climate also varies, as the country is large in size (“India – Basic Facts” par. 1). It could be said that location by the ocean allows the country to have a place among other producers of vanilla.
In conclusion, it could be said that all the mentioned countries are surrounded by water. This fact implies that they are eligible to transport goods successfully to other countries by water. This logistics’ benefit allows the companies to remain competitive on the market in the spice segment. Additionally, despite the dry climate in the majority of vanilla producers, the presence of water plays a vital role. It allows the countries to locate the plantations in the humid area of the territory.
In this section, the influence of culture is evaluated, as understanding the cultural background will help see a connection with today’s trends. The cultures of the Aztecs and Mayans are assessed, as they are the first tribes, which were observed using vanilla pods as a culinary ingredient. Moreover, as it also originated in India, it is important to understand the culture and traditions of this country (American Orchid Society 209).
Firstly, the Aztec’s culture has to be described, as vanilla as a culinary ingredient was generated there. As it was mentioned earlier, vanilla pods were used as currency (Staller and Carrasco 48). Subsequently, only leaders used vanilla as a spice. It could be said that this act was a symbol of power, as the heads of the tribes were consuming currency as a regular ingredient. Moreover, the banquet in Aztec’s village was also complex, as multiple traditional courses were prepared, and the finishing act as smoking tobacco (Albala 53). This fact explains a sophisticated usage of vanilla in the Aztec society, as it was mixed with the other ingredients to produce a delicious and unique beverage.
Secondly, Mayan culture is another important aspect of discovering since this tribe also used this product in ancient times. It could be said that the Mayans were also smart, as they were able to maintain order inside the tribe, remain high levels of the defense, and build sophisticated cities (Day 10). Moreover, they made many discoveries associated with the movements of the planets and the location of the stars in the sky (Day 10). Another important fact, which encouraged their development, is a readiness to exchange ideas and beliefs with other tribes (Day 10). Moreover, the Mayans were also using other spices like oregano and coriander to make food delicious and balanced dishes with required vitamins (Day 74). It could be said that a combination of these factors encouraged the usage of vanilla in their cuisine. Even though it was not as popular as among the Aztecs, the Mayans are still considered as the initial users of vanilla.
Thirdly, values and food preferences of Indian culture have to be discovered, as India was one of the producers of vanilla. Moreover, this spice also originates in this country. In this case, Indian cuisine is discussed with more details. It is widely known that Indian cuisine differentiates itself from the other countries by intense usage of seasoning and spices (Sen 50). It could be said that this cultural specialty had a substantial impact on vanilla production in Indian, as it is one of the spices, which is actively used in Indian dishes.
Today vanilla is a commonly used ingredient, and its history is forgotten. It could be said that the product’s existence is taken for granted, and every person has a chance to use it actively during the cooking process. However, a culture of the ancient tribes has a significant impact on the usage of vanilla, as even today it a used as a primary flavor additive to coffee. It gives unique taste and flavor. This ceremony is exceptional and makes a person feel relaxed and comfortable. However, in ancient times it was consumed on different occasions.
There are several technological changes, which dramatically affected the product appearance and the methods of production. As it was mentioned earlier, the Industrial Revolution is one of the change agents. Technology and machinery were rapidly developing. Consequently, the ways of harvesting were changed. In the past, machines were primitive and provided a farmer with the basic necessary actions. Nowadays, harvesting machines are more complicated. This fact increases the ability of the farmers to collect and produce higher volumes of vanilla.
Moreover, as it was mentioned earlier, vanilla was considered as a luxury product in the past, as it was used as currency (Staller and Carrasco 48). However, nowadays, it is an ordinary spice, which can be bought in every store. This phenomenon occurred due to globalization, as the transportation network experienced some changes. It could be considered as a positive change for the agricultural sector, as it encourages farmers to develop continually. However, it could be said that this popularity has an adverse influence on vanilla’s heritage, as it loses its uniqueness and becomes an ordinary product.
In order to follow innovation, the economic situation in these countries has to be discovered. As for Mexican economics, it could be said Mexico’s income is generated from tourism and agricultural exports (Torres 546). Moreover, these spheres have strong connections with each other (Torres, 546). Consequently, it could be assumed that the government spends a significant amount of budget on the enhancement of these areas. This fact has a positive influence on the agricultural sector, as the farmers are offered subsidiaries to encourage the level of production (Kornis 21). This fact is beneficial for vanilla production, as it could be planted and harvested properly.
Furthermore, now Vanilla is used not only in food manufacturing, but also in the pharmaceutical, perfume, and other industries. This factor increases vanilla’s popularity in the world and demands higher volumes of production. It could be said that this innovative change of vanilla’s usage is beneficial for the farmers, as they are able to generate higher revenues. Furthermore, it creates additional profit for the government, as agricultural export is an essentiality of Mexican economics.
It could be said that all of these innovations and developments have a particular effect on vanilla’s manufacturing and distribution around the world. It is important to see the correlation between these aspects, as they have a tendency to affect each other. It could be concluded that all these factors are beneficial for vanilla production. However, with the development of a transportation network, efficient distribution, channels, and global trade, vanilla lost its uniqueness and became an everyday food supplement.
As the market is constantly changing, culinary preferences do not stay the same. These changes have a significant impact on the agricultural sector, as a majority of the harvest is meant for the food industry. Another factor is an advancement in technology, as it has been affecting agriculture since its introduction.
In terms of food, the preferences of consumers experience drastic changes. For example, in the ice cream industry, people do not like original flavor anymore; instead, they are seeking for something entirely new. The restaurants such as The Fat Duck offered “bacon-and-egg ice cream” (Lewis par. 5). However, some of the producers still use vanilla as a primary ingredient. However, other additives are used to boost the flavor to the new level.
As for technological changes, some people believe that harvesting and collection will be completely done by specially trained machinery (Harvey par. 1). The introduction of smaller robots with the ability to perform sophisticated tasks and duties in the future. One of the examples is the “lettuce bot,” the primary goal of this robot is to free the lettuce from weeds, which surround the plant (Harvey par. 4). It is only one example of a robot. Consequently, robots with different duties will reduce the number of workforces required to perform the tasks. In the case of vanilla, using robots on vanilla plantations will help to reach higher revenues and become more efficient.
Another interesting future trend, which will vehemently affect food production in the future, is the increased usage of “smart farming” (Guerrini par. 2). Speaking of “smart farming”, the primary mission of it is to bring farms to entirely new level by supplying them with technology to monitor changes in the animals and plants (Guerrini par. 2). The primary reason for the necessity to implement this technology is the fact that the Earth population is rapidly growing. Subsequently, it is vital to utilize widely sophisticated farming techniques, as it is pivotal to the survival of humanity. As for vanilla, it could be said that this trend might not strongly affect this spice, as it is mainly used as an additive to bakery and beverages. However, the technology will still be implemented by farmers, as it will help them to collect higher volumes of vanilla and produce products of a higher quality.
In conclusion, future trends from all spheres will affect the farming of vanilla. Firstly, food consumption patterns have to be taken into account, as these acts predict future consumer preferences. In this case, the ice cream example was discovered to show a rapid change in consumer preferences. Additionally, the trends in agriculture were presented, as development changes in technology and the ability to provide food to the population of the globe is necessary. However, it has to be mentioned that vanilla is also present in the fragrance and tobacco industries, and it is used as a flavor additive.
It is important to follow the ethical principles while participating in international trade, as norms and regulations are the key controllers of the situation. Following these principles eases the trading process and allows avoiding arguments between countries. Moreover, it increases the level of safety, as the farmers and other parties have a perception of right and wrong according to the international trade principles.
Usage of dangerous pesticides is one of the issues, which occurs in the agricultural industry and international trade regularly. This situation takes place, as there are misunderstandings between accepted and forbidden pesticides (“Blacklist of Dangerous Pesticides” 5). It creates confusion and puts the nutrition productions in danger, as it might not be safe for consumption. It could be said that this lack of control in the legislation has a negative impact on the reputation of vanilla producers. Now it is questionable whether vanilla produced in Mexico is safe for consumption.
Agriculture has an influence on society and the environment (Paarlberd 8). Green policies and environmental trends are gaining popularity in the world. The usage of modern agriculture allows decreasing the pollution of the environment, as it is possible to utilize fewer chemicals (Paarlberd 8). Implementation of genetic modifications is a necessary change, as it is able to stop the air contamination. It could be said this fact affects the farming of vanilla, as vanilla plantations and machinery used for harvesting should respond to the green policies.
It could be said that ethical principles play a significant role in agriculture. It is necessary to follow them since; otherwise, the actions will be questionable and might lead to the lack of reputation of the farmer. In turn, a farmer should focus on providing high-quality products to the customers and avoiding be a cause of environmental pollutions.
In conclusion, it could be said that vanilla is actively used as a culinary ingredient. It adds distinctive flavors to the dishes, and its odor helps experience the coziness and importance of every second of one’s life. However, it has to be mentioned that it is also used in other industries, as vanilla has multiple qualities. Its benefits allow the product to be used in pharmaceutical, cosmetics, perfume, spa, and nutrition industries. The explanation of the principal drivers in order to make this choice is provided. Moreover, its possible impact on my future career is evaluated, as it is always important to assess and discover the product’s benefits with the help of specific examples.
Speaking of historical background, the origins of vanilla were discovered. Moreover, cultural beliefs and traditions of the Aztecs and Mayans are determined, as these elements help see a connection between cultural norms with vanilla popularity in these tribes. One interesting fact was discovered. It could be said that there is a high correlation between ancient usage and a modern drink, as in both eras, people were consuming modern hot chocolate. Vanilla just plays the role of the supplement to the beverage, as it adds additional flavor.
As for the geography, the leading vanilla producers are evaluated. The existence of common characteristics is not surprising, as all countries are located in similar geographical conditions. Humidity and rain are the essentialities for vanilla’s growth. Tropical forests are the primary places where the plantations can be established, as the conditions are suitable for the efficient.
Innovation and future trends always have an influence on the production process, as any positive changes and improvements give the ability to increase the efficiency of production and manufacturing. Technological advances and consumer preferences have to be evaluated to get a full image of vanilla’s future. As for the innovation, many changes occur to the advanced harvesting of vanilla.
As for ethics, it is important to take social norms, rules, and the Code of Conduct into account. This fact allows following the rules and remaining a high level of obedience amount members of the society. In the case of vanilla, trade legislation is a primary set of rules, which helps to distinguish between acceptable and not acceptable while performing international business operations. However, this section also provides some examples of the lack of control in the agricultural sector. The absence of exact lists of forbidden pesticides creates misunderstandings in the distribution chain and questions the levels of safety in society.
Finally, in order to discover the whole picture of vanilla’s industry, all aspects are the essentialities for the evaluation process. It could be said that each section is dependent on another, as all of them provide similar facts and consequences. A combination of all these matters allows seeing the future potential of vanilla as a culinary ingredient in the spice industry. Moreover, the future of vanilla in the other spheres also could be discovered, as some of them like briefly mentioned in the paper. Understanding the usage of vanilla in different areas helps understanding its significance from a different perspective.
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