Don’t say plain vanilla, say yum!

It’s an exotic orchid that grew originally in Mexico but now grows in all sorts of places, thanks to a slave — yes, a slave — who discovered that it could be hand pollinated. This freed it from having to be pollinated by natural means, using bees found only in its native habitat. That’s how come today most of it comes from Madagascar.

It’s one of the world’s most wonderful and rich scents and tastes — the two are highly intermingled in our senses. We put the dried form of its beans or seedpods in cakes, ice creams, custard and all sorts of other places. Can you tell what it is yet?

Vanilla. It’s just delicious.

So why, increasingly, am I hearing people referring to “plain vanilla”, when what they mean is the default option or, more usually, something that’s just plain?

Is it because they’ve never tasted vanilla? Is it because they are hard of thinking, and just like to repeat the latest management jargon, on the assumption that it sounds cool? Or is it because they can’t taste it? Once tasted, you’d never call it plain.

Wouldn’t you agree that it’s time to reclaim vanilla as a positive attribute, not as something that sounds about as interesting as a used tissue?

Plain vanilla: don’t just say no — make your views known!