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Madagascar's Vanilla Beans Came from Mexico

Vanilla bean in Madagscar by David Darricau on Flickr CC license NC-BY-2.0

Antoine Ganne tells the unique story of how Vanilla came to populate the island of Madagascar and Reunion island [fr] from the Gulf of Mexico. Ganne explains that European traders brought Vanilla from Mexico to Louis XIV who wanted to grow it on Reunion Island but failed. A young Reunionese slave, Edmond Albius, solved the issue by inventing the technique of hand pollination. Madagascar Vanilla is now the most produced vanilla in the world.

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