Nope, It’s Not from Madagascar….
From the vanilla flavor in our yogurt to the vanilla scent of the candles in our living rooms, most of the vanilla in our lives is not truly vanilla and it doesn’t come from pods grown in the tropics. Most “vanilla” is actually vanillin, a compound extracted from oak that tastes reminiscent of vanilla. (Oak contains a lot of vanillin). Wine drinkers, for example, know that chardonnay and many other wines often exhibit vanilla-like flavors. Needless to say, those wines haven’t come anywhere near vanilla beans; they have a vanilla-like flavor because they’re made and/or aged for long periods in vanillin-rich oak barrels.