Yes vanilla is an orchid. It is, in fact, the only edible orchid in the very extended and very lovely orchid family. We all know what the scent of vanilla is — at least I think we do — because of helping our Moms put it in cakes and cookies since we were kids.
As it turns out, one of our friends Jim Redekopp and his wife are growing orchid vanilla on the Big Island of Hawai`i and it is a gourmet treat. Vanilla is difficult to grow outside of Mexico and Central America, but the Redekopp’s are making it work. You can visit them atwww.hawaiianvanilla.com They are the only commercial grower of vanilla in the United States. According to Jim, Benjamin Franklin introduced vanilla to America.
We use vanilla in our products at Lanikai — specifically in our Orchid Vanilla line, one of our customers' favorites.