FatBoy Flavor-Bowl Player Profile: Classic Vanilla

FatBoy Flavor-Bowl Player Profile: Classic Vanilla

FatBoy Flavor-Bowl 2019

It’s the time of year for parties ‘round the TV set with family and friends to watch the buildup to the big game.  Every Sunday we open bags of chips and cans of soda and ice cream sandwiches and we enjoy one of the greatest sporting pastimes in America.  So we here at FatBoy decided to have our own competition: The FatBoy Flavor-Bowl!  Six classic FatBoy ice cream sandwich flavors will enter the competition, but only one will emerge as the supreme flavor.  Which flavor will earn the title of 2019 FatBoy Flavor-Bowl Champion?

In order to make the competition interesting and help you out in voting for your favorite, we’ve assembled a dossier on each of these serious contenders in a series we’re calling Flavor-Bowl Player Profiles.

FatBoy Flavor-Bowl Player Profile: Classic Vanilla

Vainilla is, of course, a perennial favorite, and a major contender for the Flavor-Bowl title.  The classic flavor has been a staple of the ice cream world for almost as long as there has been ice cream.  It is also considered the most popular flavor in the world, and is often used in coffee drinks, yogurt, and other desserts.  In fact, because of its ubiquitous status among the flavors, the term “vanilla” is often used synonymously with “plain,” or “bland.”  Of course, good vanilla flavoring is anything but plain or bland.  It’s rich and creamy, and even a little smokey, depending on where you’re enjoying it.  It’s a powerhouse of a flavor, and it’s here to compete.

Vanilla Trivia: Vanilla gets its name from the Spanish word for “little pod.”

Vanilla’s Origins

Vanilla was first used by the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Central America before the 1500s when the Spanish conquered the region.  When the Spanish found the flavor, they brought it back with them to Europe, where it was first used as additional flavoring for a cocoa based drink.  In fact, the Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes is credited with introducing both chocolate and vanilla to Europe.  By the 1600s, though, it had earned a reputation apart from cocoa, and the French soon started to use it to flavor ice cream.

Vanilla ice cream, however, didn’t make its way back to the United States until Thomas Jefferson brought the recipe back from one of his diplomatic visits to France around the time of the revolution.  In the 1780s, Jefferson came up with his own recipe for vanilla ice cream, which you can now find in the Library of Congress.

Vanilla Trivia: Though it originated in Mexico, its home country currently ranks fourth in the world for vanilla production behind China, Indonesia, and Madagascar (in ascending order).  Mexico produces only around 17% of Madagascar’s annual export.

How Vanilla Flavoring Is Made

Vanilla flavoring comes from the beans, or “pods” of the vanilla plant, a species of orchid found mainly in Mexico.  Cultivators have to harvest the beans every day because they ripen at different times, and it can be difficult to determine when the beans are ripe.  The pods, once harvested, are then dried and prepared according to their intended use.

Some recipes using vanilla call for the whole pod, while some call for ground, unprocessed vanilla, vanilla sugar, or vanilla extract.  Vanilla extract is the most commonly used form of the flavor, and it is created by processing whole vanilla pods in an ethanol and water solution.

Vanilla Trivia:  The top five vanilla producing countries in the world export over 7,000 tons of vanilla beans annually. 

How Vanilla Stacks Up:

Heading into this Flavor-Bowl season, Premium Vanilla, then, definitely has some quality attributes, including the rank of most popular flavor in the world.  Let’s take a look at the details.

  • Most Popular Flavor
    • More people buy vanilla ice cream than any other flavor, and they have done so for a long time. Experts say that it’s because vanilla ice cream works so well to complement so many other desserts.
  • Versatility
    • Vanilla makes a perfect companion to so many other flavors. From chocolate and cola to cherry and coffee, vanilla goes with it all, and when it’s put between two chocolate wafers, it makes a mean sandwich.
  • Name Recognition
    • Vanilla’s no new kid on the block. Everybody knows vanilla, and most of us love it!  There are a lot people out there who like to play it safe, and when it comes to playing it safe, it doesn’t get much safer than vanilla.  The flavor that is universally liked is always a good bet.
  • On The Other Hand…
    • There is still the question of whether or not vanilla’s popularity will really help it in this year’s Flavor-Bowl. When stacked up against such formidable opponents as mint chocolate chip, cookies and cream, strawberry, and chocolate chip cookie?

 

The Final Word

Those same opponents had better not think that vanilla’s bringing anything “plain” or “bland” to the party, though.  That’s not the kind of competition you get from the world’s most popular ice cream flavor.  Vanilla is popular and ubiquitous for a reason.  It’s rich and smooth, subtle and powerful, and goes well with just about anything.  Vanilla is not to be underestimated, and it will be a lot of fun to see it compete with the other flavors in this year’s FatBoy Flavor-Bowl.  Stay tuned to see how it does.

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