In my attempts to find you all a decent free to read article on cacao/chocolate in Mesoamerica for this upcoming Valentines Day, I came across this wonderful article on the spread of vanilla. Not many people know that vanilla is a New World crop and fewer know of the dispersal and role it played in Mesoamerican agriculture. So I invite you all to check out this article and discover what secrets surround one the world’s most common flavors today.
Vanilla is a clonally propagated crop originating from Mesoamerica. Information regarding the circumstances under which vanilla cultivation began is incomplete. Presumably, the Totonac people of Papantla (north-central Veracruz, Mexico) were the earliest to cultivate vanilla; however, the oldest reports of vanilla use relate to the pre-Columbian Maya of southeastern Mexico/Central America, where vanilla was a cacao-beverage spice. We utilized Amplified Fragment Length Poly-morphism (AFLP) marker diversity to infer the origins and relationships among cultivated and non-cultivated vanilla in Mesoamerica and on islands in the Indian Ocean, which comprise today’s principal production regions of vanilla. Our results suggest that, genetically, vanilla cultivated outside of Mesoamerica is most closely related to cultivated stock from Papantla; whereas unique clones of V. planifolia are found in non-cultivated and cultivated individuals from elsewhere in Mesoamerica. This is consistent with a single origin for cultivated vanilla outside of Mexico, along with multiple origins for cultivated material within Mexico. These data suggest that vestiges of pre-Columbian Maya vanilla cultivars are not found in commercial production today.
“Maya?” Topanga says staring at the soaked child in disbelief. Her eyes roam from the top of her blonde hair to her black combat boots with a grim smile on her face.
“Yes mother.” Maya says as Riley interjected.
“She’s my mother, not yours.” She says locking the main door before plopping on the couch.
“Why is she wet?” Topanga says touching a strand of Maya’s hair. Topanga sighed and headed to her laundry bin and picked up a towel. Maya shook her head in response.
“She’s trying to prove a point.” Riley sighed she lifted her brown booted feet and placed in on her couch as her mother gave her the signature knowing look. Sighing, Riley dropped her feet on the ground.
“Again?” Topanga says laughing as she drops the towel and walks towards the kitchen.
Maya groaned. “It’s going to rain today. I swear. It’ll be bad. Storm, wind, if your roof flies off i’ll be the one saying I told you so.” Maya flipped her soaked hair and splashed Riley in the face.
The front door clicks open. Maya turns around as Riley groans.
“I welcomed myself home.” Farkle says entering the house.
“This isn’t your house.” Riley says laughing as she proceeded to wipe her face with the back of her arm. Maya wiped her head back in Riley’s direction causing the water on her hair to fly into Farkle’s eyes.
He groaned in response. Farkle blinked the tears away.
“So have I.” Lucas enters the house right after. Riley straightened up from her slouched position. She had the biggest crush on Lucas until she figured out her best friend, Maya, stood down so she -Riley- can be with the guy Maya fell for.
Their complicated relationship never faltered until that very New Year’s Day.
Got new high res renders for you all, this time with a little more texture to it :). Did an old driver’s helmet, probably cause of my affinity to lovecaft, with some sea aged worn to it. Hope you all enjoy.
That day Maya decided what better way then to spend her day with her friends, she kept recalling of that day she had made fun of Bucky McBoing Boing. She walked down the stairs to the kitchen in Riley’s house and ate the waffles like a savage. Maya had syrup dripping down her face and stared ravenously at the bottle of whip cream in Topanga’s hand. She smiled slyly before swiping the spray can from her hand. Before Topanga can object, Maya squirted the bottle so the whipped cream would fill her mouth. She smiled again as Riley laughed. Maya’s eyes drifted to her shirt where she found two visible stains. Auggie stared at Maya, then looked at her sister.
“We’re the normal ones, right?” Auggie says as he grabs the spray can of whipped cream, then he shrugs. “Awe, what the heck!” He says then he sprays his breakfast which was a bowl of green grapes then face-plants himself into the whipped cream.
Maya smiled at Auggie in approval as Riley’s jaw dropped.
“I’ve invited myself in once again! Well what did I miss?” Farkle says staring at Auggie then looks at Maya. “Would I be a bad person if I licked his face?” Farkle asks as Lucas walked inside.
“Woaw…” Lucas says looking at Maya’s syrupy face, the stared at her hair which had whipped cream in it, then he looked at Auggie who looked as if he got a facial mask. Lucas busted out in laughter. “What happened?”
“Maya happened.” Riley says as she pops a green grape into her mouth.
Maya smiled as a sting of syrup fell from her chin.
“Look’s like you’re right Maya, there was a natural disaster.” Riley says laughing.
Maya frowned. “Yes, and it was you.” Maya responded as she grabbed the bottle of whipped cream and squirted the remains all over Riley.