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Vanilla has no botanical relationship with chocolate. Yet its flavour is so closely linked with chocolate that its absence would be quite noticeable, just like you left without your BFF!

Take a look at the list of ingredients on the back of your favourite chocolate bar. Chances are you’ll see vanilla mentioned in one form or another – natural vanilla extract, natural bourbon vanilla bean, vanillin, etc. Even when it’s not explicitly mentioned, it is often bundled up under the blanket of nature identical and artificial flavourings.

The association between vanilla and chocolate is not new. Legend has it that even the Aztecs ceremoniously drank a beverage of cacao beans, ground corn, vanilla and honey. Upon the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, vanilla was brought to Europe where it was enjoyed by the wealthiest of the wealthy as a flavouring in their chocolate.