Vanilla and Vanillin: What’s the Difference?

Chemistry, Food
[caption id="attachment_14041" align="alignright" width="440"] Drying vanilla beans.[/caption] Probably the average grocery shopper is unaware there are two sources of the flavor of vanilla. They are vanilla and vanillin. Are they the same? Are they different? If they are different, what is that difference? Vanilla and Vanillin Historically, our favorite ice cream flavor has been vanilla. To draw special attention to the use of natural rather than synthetic ingredients, some have added descriptors to their ice cream. They use phrases like natural vanilla or natural vanilla bean. The vanilla bean comes from an orchid, and is completely natural. The flavor extract made from it is called vanilla. Yes, the word that ends in an “a,” and not an “n.” We still have vanilla and vanillin. So what is vanillin? [caption id="attachment_17377"…
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