Vanilla: A History

‘Vanilla’ has come to mean ‘standard’, ‘ordinary’ or even ‘boring. But the story of Vanilla is considerably more complex than that. It is a centuries long epic involving a child genius, modern chemistry, and a much more complex flavor than it is given credit for.
This is original content based on research by The History Guy. Images in the Public Domain are carefully selected and provide illustration. As very few images of the actual event are available in the Public Domain, images of similar objects and events are used for illustration.
You can purchase the bow tie worn in this episode at The Tie Bar:
All events are portrayed in historical context and for educational purposes. No images or content are primarily intended to shock and disgust. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Non censuram.
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Script by JCG
#history #thehistoryguy #vanilla

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  • Have you done the story of Fritz Haber?

    Evan AndersonEvan Anderson9 өдрийн өмнө
  • I found this episode to be rather flavorful. But I feel that discussing the anal glands of beavers might be getting to the bottom of things a bit too much

    Tom WhitesideTom Whiteside20 өдрийн өмнө
  • I made some vanilla today.

    The Burrow RisesThe Burrow Rises21 өдрийн өмнө
  • When my mom died, I cleaned out her house. She was a gourmet cook, and I took most of her kitchen. One of the things I have from her is $400 worth of vanilla bean, in a small plastic baggie. I haven't yet figured out what to do with it.

    Mark AndreasenMark Andreasen26 өдрийн өмнө
  • Poor Edwin.

    altarushaltarushСарын өмнө
  • YesSiRr!! History class in! Mate.. Alwayz Interesting, educational, very informative and definately entertaining viewing!! LoL! Who said history's boring?!? Haha! Thankz again for sharing! Stay Bless and Stay Safe!!

    FILZ FFILZ FСарын өмнө
  • Tahitian vanilla.

    Tom FrazierTom FrazierСарын өмнө
  • do the history of indigo carmine

    A KA KСарын өмнө
  • Thank you! I really love this one. It’s fascinating to learn the complicated history of such a seemingly little pleasure. Maybe now I won’t complain so much about the price of vanilla! 😋

    Ruth FitzwaterRuth FitzwaterСарын өмнө
  • This certainly adds a new perspective. Makes me realise exactly why it's so expensive. I used to buy bulk vanilla beans to make my own extracts until it just got too darn expensive.

    -p Catalano-p CatalanoСарын өмнө
  • I like that tie.

    Elliot BradleyElliot BradleyСарын өмнө
  • Vanilla and chocolate two products from Mexico

    Joao Da SilvaJoao Da SilvaСарын өмнө
  • The Vanilla it is from the state of Veracruz in Mexico and the spaniards called vainilla because it was in a disrespectful way it has a VAINA in english it means sheath = VAINA =VAINILLA

    Joao Da SilvaJoao Da SilvaСарын өмнө
  • God how I hope we‘re not still eating artificial vanilla from the anal glands of beavers.....

    richardvilseckrichardvilseckСарын өмнө
  • Nice to see the History Cat again.

    Maj.D.Saster HikesMaj.D.Saster HikesСарын өмнө
  • Great video

    James DudaJames DudaСарын өмнө
  • 👍🏻👍🏻

    WXMAN66WXMAN66Сарын өмнө
  • 8:46 Please explain how 🤔 😳 🤣

    Joel McKinneyJoel McKinneyСарын өмнө
    • How they found out how castorium tastes...

      Joel McKinneyJoel McKinneyСарын өмнө
  • Edmunds history is tragic! Yet again, we didn’t give credit where it belonged. 😢

    Rae PeronneauRae PeronneauСарын өмнө
  • II. Vanilla extract, being alcohol based was not allowed in lumber camps. My mother's family has run one for several generations, so after they left the business, she regarded vanilla as special. Which it is!

    Scallop O’HareScallop O’HareСарын өмнө
  • I. Vanilla, and all orchids, do not have loose pollen. That may have made it more difficult to recognize for hand pollination.

    Scallop O’HareScallop O’HareСарын өмнө
  • 1:03 4.3bel = 20,000 orchid species 4.0bel = 10,000 bird species 3.7bel = 5,000 mammal species

    Brian BoruBrian BoruСарын өмнө
  • Dunno what it was with this episode... it felt somewhat bland and uninspired, like...

    Ste JerSte JerСарын өмнө
  • Nasty line hum. You should try and eliminate ground loops, or simply use a notch filter on your audio set at 60Hz and 120Hz. 60Hz because it is the line frequency. 120Hz because in the iron formers of transformers the frequency of the hum will double.

    MrGoatflakesMrGoatflakesСарын өмнө
  • Vanilla is the finest of the flavors.

    jlillerjlillerСарын өмнө
  • 👍👍

    Armchair WandererArmchair WandererСарын өмнө
  • Another Excellent Video

    C MC MСарын өмнө
  • Love this channel

    Richard JohnsonRichard JohnsonСарын өмнө
  • Vanilla milkshakes are the best thing I've ever tasted, and I make a great warm vanilla milk that is a great for sleep.

    annacolleen wesson ettersannacolleen wesson ettersСарын өмнө
  • Speak slower please. Eveybody isn't a native English speaker

    Laurence S. D.Laurence S. D.Сарын өмнө
  • Technically the Vanilla bean can be grown in the USA, Florida and Puerto Rico would be ideal locations but the synthetic version is too popular with consumers (who eat way too much anyway!)

    Ragnar RagnarsonRagnar RagnarsonСарын өмнө
  • your cat wants down

    ntbloodntbloodСарын өмнө
  • Very very nice.

    wombatdkwombatdkСарын өмнө
  • EU and probably other food labelings indicate that we need to classify what goes in our flavourings. Natural Vanilla. Nature Identical Vanilla (chemicals that mix the same way as in the pods as process), Artifical Vanilla. Things can also be Vanillia Flavoured ( a product with Vanilla in it - the type of Vanilla specified separately - these can be mixed from Artificial and Natural Mixes ), Vanilla Flavour (which is something that tastes like Vanilla but is not , this can be Nature Identical or anything else (which may be an assortment of E numbers or unclassified products). Flavoured Vanilla is possible but not techinically useful , as its Vanilla with another flavour added to it. Didnt know about the French Vanilla.

    High PathHigh PathСарын өмнө
  • You're cat is awesome. Seems very laid-back.

    Anton NymAnton NymСарын өмнө
    • Unless he is hungry...

      The History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedThe History Guy: History Deserves to Be RememberedСарын өмнө
  • Well that explains why expensive ice cream tastes so good. 😀

    Gggg OfffGggg OfffСарын өмнө
  • As always, a pleasure. Thanks...

    Ralph CraigRalph CraigСарын өмнө
  • Real vanilla done properly is anything but pedestrian.

    Jay WolfJay WolfСарын өмнө
  • Audio levels are all over the place in this video.

    Earnest WilliamsEarnest WilliamsСарын өмнө
  • I love your channel

    Derrick CoyleDerrick CoyleСарын өмнө
  • What an educational episode. I always thought it came from the vanilla bean. It came from the vanilla fruit that looks like a bean. Thanks Bob PS. Nice cat.

    Robert McDonnoldRobert McDonnoldСарын өмнө
  • I'd thumbs-up the history, if it were on turmeric or ginger.

    New York VagrantNew York VagrantСарын өмнө
  • I like your Tabby cat! 🐈

    SnapdragonSnapdragonСарын өмнө
  • One of the products of charring oak barrels to age wine and distilled spirits like whisy is vanillin.

    theeddoriantheeddorianСарын өмнө
  • Vanilla can be poured on a flat plate and left in open air to evaporate in any room that has odor problems. It can even remove mousy musty odors of rodents....even in carpets spread by a vaccum cleaner which were operated over a soiled area.

    You TubeYou TubeСарын өмнө
  • History Cat reminds me a lot of my late great ‘Tiberius’ Never will I meet again such a moody, cantankerous, demanding, obstinate, everything-on-my-terms creature. ‘Bibbs’ would spend much of his time dreaming up new ways to annoy me. He’d demand to have doors opened, rather than suffer the indignity of cat flaps. Would awaken me at 4am to tell me he wasn’t really hungry, but could probably manage a light snack. Tiberius had an infuriating ability to take up an entire bed, leaving me scrunched up on the edge. He’d run up and down the stairs JUST to keep me awake. He was a nightmare. And lived to be twenty years old. He died two years ago. And I miss him every day. ‘Tiberius Maximus’ deserves to be remembered

    Torahboy1Torahboy1Сарын өмнө
  • Was i the only one that saw the intro as THC before I noticed it was THG?

    LemonDewDropsLemonDewDropsСарын өмнө
  • Mr History Guy! I have some constructive feedback! I've been a super huge fan and long time watcher of your show. Something wasn't quite right with this video's audio. Every time there was a jump from video clips back to your office for narration the volume changed, and sometimes got a lot louder. Please make sure your post-production levels out the audio when changing clips. Otherwise, great show and keep showing us the history we should remember!

    thekobazthekobazСарын өмнө
  • Vanilla may mean plain, but real vanilla is one of my favorite flavors. It is pure magic in so many recipes. On the flip side, fake vanilla flavor is disgusting to me.

    Cyrus FreemanCyrus FreemanСарын өмнө
  • Can you please make a video on the history of onions? I'm very curious how someone found an onion and decided to eat it! Please and thank you for all your videos, We love them!! ❤️😊

    Garrett ArcherGarrett ArcherСарын өмнө
  • Now I understand why vanilla is so expensive. Thank you History Guy

    KYoss68KYoss68Сарын өмнө
  • Wonderful!11🙏🏻🇺🇸✌🏻

    patti collinspatti collinsСарын өмнө
  • Mmmm, vanilla..... **wonderful** flavour! **Real** vanilla, that is - not the artificial stuff. Artificial "vanilla" is only the palest imitation of the real thing.

    j4d3 goatj4d3 goatСарын өмнө
  • I see you are with your cat "Vanilla". Good name for a cat.

    David BennerDavid BennerСарын өмнө
  • Ancient Canaanite vanilla?

    Bethup ThteenBethup ThteenСарын өмнө
  • History kitty!

    Everyday FishkeepingEveryday FishkeepingСарын өмнө
  • History cat! Oh, and a great episode.

    Scott MiniumScott MiniumСарын өмнө
  • Its pretty bold to be talking about vanilla during black history month especially with all the cancel culture and tone deaf accusations. More appropriate would have been chocolate or coffee.

    kevin cvalciuckevin cvalciucСарын өмнө
  • Beaver Butt flavored Ice cream!

    zorro456zorro456Сарын өмнө
  • Vanilla goes with everything. I love it. Also, I want more History Cat videos!

    ForceSmartForceSmartСарын өмнө
  • I (who have never had Bourbon whisky) had always assumed that "Bourbon Vanilla" meant that Bourbon flavouring was in there somewhere. I learned something new today! Thanks! 🙂👍

    Shiboline M'RessShiboline M'RessСарын өмнө
  • The local Pet Milk company went out of business. A fellow got a round box of vanilla beans. He opened it to let me smell. It was enough to make ones knees bend, and mouth drool.

    Michael HartmanMichael HartmanСарын өмнө
  • so many things we eat daily are 'fake'... =S

    ZeroLifeZeroLifeСарын өмнө
  • How about the history of men wearing powdered wigs ?

    flyshackerflyshackerСарын өмнө
  • Madagascar is in the Indian Ocean they don't have hurricanes they have Cyclones , otherwise a very enjoyable and informative video thank you

    Larry TateLarry TateСарын өмнө
  • So I think I was watching religion for breakfast when they mentioned that jars found in Israel contained the compound vanillin so in some form they had access to that flavor bare minimum. Very preliminary from what I understand but just thought I would mention it.

    Ian ChristainsonIan ChristainsonСарын өмнө
  • All this talk about beavers and their butts reminds me of Wynona’s Big Brown Beaver by Primus.

    Cameron McCrearyCameron McCrearyСарын өмнө
  • I've got to say Mr. History Guy, literally every single episode title of yours that pops up on my feed I want to jump up and pump my fist and exclaim, "Yes!!!! I'm not the only one who's heard of this and thinks it's cool!!!" Bravo.

    Brian Lane HerderBrian Lane HerderСарын өмнө
  • the cat is a sign...he's getting ready to retire...he's going to gradually hand over more and more of the show to the cat and one maybe two years from now, after some audience/screen tests, it'll be the cat with the mic

    Chris BusenkellChris BusenkellСарын өмнө
  • I understand the history of vanilla is complex, but the flavor is also complex --- one of the most complex of any flavor. So plain vanilla simply isn't plain.

    Richard YRichard YСарын өмнө
  • Just wanted to let you know that, in the world of early diesel locomotives (say, early 1950's through the early 1960's), the Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD) locomotive division of General Motors had a highly successful (and, ultimately, very reliable), diesel loco model called the GP-7 (General Purpose, or geep), and the nearly identical GP-9 (around 4,000 total produced). They were so common, that they were commonly referred as 'vanilla geeps'. Despite 3-4 newer generations of diesel locos in service today, many dozens of the 'vanilla geep' are still in use today on smaller rail lines, in rail museum service, and as in-plant switchers all over North America.

    Neil GibsonNeil GibsonСарын өмнө
  • 10:54 *does the cat have its own bow tie collection?* *just curious*

    Scott MantoothScott MantoothСарын өмнө
  • Another cameo visit from History Cat! And I didn't think that I could enjoy The History Guy more! Thanks for the informative episode, History Guy!

    Andre MetzlerAndre MetzlerСарын өмнө
  • Being a farmer's son I personally love the episodes about food, agriculture, and weather.

    Steven MillerSteven MillerСарын өмнө
  • vanilla is still my favorite flavor, when i was a kid i was in charge of turning the crank on the ice cream maker my grandmother had. it was a chore i never complained about.

    William SmithWilliam SmithСарын өмнө
  • HG was already awesome. Even more so being a cat guy 👌🏻

    Chris HolmesChris HolmesСарын өмнө
  • Vanilla may be around to stay, but your kitty wants to go...

    ATSF Venta Spur NscalerATSF Venta Spur NscalerСарын өмнө
  • THK - The History Kitty.

    Neil EdgeNeil EdgeСарын өмнө
  • I like vanilla

    Brer RabbitBrer RabbitСарын өмнө
  • I

    Landon MichaelLandon MichaelСарын өмнө
  • As someone who has, as a necessity, used "vanilla" as a way to denote a more tame, and unadventurous approach to sexuality, I am also, as are many in the BDSM community, a foodie and devotee of flavors (among other things)... Never once did I think Less of Vanilla both as a flavor, ingredient, or as an approach to sex and sexuality... just a different flavor or approach... Some like one pure note... Some like a more complex mix of notes... I just like... LOVE history... among other things... but best of all is someone who can present all this well... Thank you. P.S.: I love the resistant cat! but you look thin.. John Norman... I wish You Well.

    Adam GlattAdam GlattСарын өмнө
  • What is the history of how you got the cat? That is history that deserves to be remembered.

  • I've always thought that calling something "vanilla" to mean "boring" or "plain", was stupid. It's a rare, expensive, and delicious spice.

    GooglarGooglarСарын өмнө
  • Before WW 2 while my dad was in the CCC they would steal vanilla extract from the mess hall and drink it because it contained alcohol in it back then. They ended up locking it up in a safe.

    izzy garboizzy garboСарын өмнө
  • I can remember back in the 1950's when Breyers ice cream was a quality brand the vanilla ice cream had black specks in it. We thought it was dirt and would not eat it. I always look at the ingredient label and appears everything now made with artificial vanilla.

    izzy garboizzy garboСарын өмнө
  • Can we get a series on food products that are native to the New World? I know, or at least I think, that corn and potatoes together now feed the world, and it's amazing to me that they weren't known in the rest of the world until the 15th century

    shookingsshookingsСарын өмнө
  • Thank you. Driving around the other day, I saw a rather large water tower. Made me wonder if there were any significant events or history that made them so ubiquitous.

    NathanNathanСарын өмнө
  • Hello The History Cat!

    smadge1smadge1Сарын өмнө
  • Here's something ironic. Vanilla doesn't do much for me. However, take a whiff of cinnamon and vanilla and you'll recognize coca-cola... and I can live off that.

    Baron von QuiplyBaron von QuiplyСарын өмнө
  • What can make THG better? Kitty!

    Sean DowlingSean DowlingСарын өмнө
  • you always blow my mind wide open History Guy. still one of the very best channels on any platform.

    Tory MartinezTory MartinezСарын өмнө
  • When I was young my dad would occasionally visit a Mexican border town and bring home a liter of Mexican vanilla extract which had a very distinctive and delicious taste. Then at some point in the 70s or 80s I think, there was some chemical found in it deemed harmful to humans which caused the “real” vanilla I was used to to be banned at least in the US. Now with the advent of the internet I’ve tried ordering a couple of different Mexican vanillas and they just don’t taste like I remember. Now I’m forced to wonder whether it’s just my aging tastebuds, or whether the banned harmful component carried the distinctive flavor, or whether they’re just cheating somehow to make more money.... Anyone know the story?

    phtharticphtharticСарын өмнө
  • My favorite ice cream flavor.

    Butch GeaganButch GeaganСарын өмнө
  • A number of years ago I successfully nurtured a vine to flowering. And pollinated, grew and then cured the pods in my home in the San Francisco area. I made extract, and for my 60th birthday in 2013 a friend used it in my birthday cake!What a wonderful video! Thank you!

    GeorgeCMcRaeGeorgeCMcRaeСарын өмнө
  • The History Cat says, "Dad, I want to get down now!" ;-)

    LMacNeillLMacNeillСарын өмнө
  • The History Cat, hello there!

    pratheratpratheratСарын өмнө
  • Another fun and insightful video... although it seemed like the normal good quality of audio mixing and levels was a bit off on this one.

    Glenn R. FrankGlenn R. FrankСарын өмнө
  • "...whiskey..." and then the cat turns its head, "Just a touch."

    Martin PeadenMartin PeadenСарын өмнө
  • Vanillin actually has a very interesting chemical structure that makes it perfect for dispersing certain types of carbon nanomaterials. In fact I have a patent on it.

    Mark BanashMark BanashСарын өмнө
  • Interesting my dad gave me a link to this

    Static StaticStatic StaticСарын өмнө