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series: Vanilla: The Sacred Orchid
air date: 12/02/13 9:00 AM
Vanilla is a New World spice originating from the state of Veracruz, Mexico. Today, this orchid is still cultivated on small farms and forest remnants by the same indigenous people who have been growing it for centuries. Descendants of Italian immigrants have been processing and selling the bean since the mid-1800's. VANILLA: the Sacred Orchid examines the relationship these two cultures have with the plant during its yearly cycle; from the hand pollinating of the flowers, through the harvesting and subsequent drying of the bean.
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