Vanilla is a flavoring derived from a Mexican species of orchid. It is considered one of the the world’s most popular aromas and flavours. The mature plants of the Vanilla Orchid ( known as Vanilla Planifolia in technical terms) produces fruit which are normally over 3m (10 ft) long. The fruits are 15–23 cm (6–9 in) long pods resembling small bananas. Once they have matured which on average takes about five months, they are harvested, cured and dried, while reducing the loss of essential oils. Vanilla extract is acquired from this segment of the plant.