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Why Does “Vanilla” Mean Bland or Boring?

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Why is vanilla associated with blandness? When this flavor was first introduced to Europe in the 16th century, it was considered a delicacy. Thomas Jefferson came upon it during a stay in France and helped popularize it in the United States. Increasingly, vanilla ice cream became commonly used as a base for other flavors and ingredients. By the late 19th century, the term plain vanilla was in use to describe something relatively unadorned. This is part of a complete episode.

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