Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla (V. planifolia). They grow in pods. When you use the pods, open them up to expose the flavorful bean. It’s easy to make your own vanilla extract. Be sure to start making the extract about one to two months ahead if you want to give it for holiday gifts. (About 6 weeks) Have a great day!