How vanilla became shorthand for bland

Slate has an interesting article on vanilla history and trends:

Real vanilla, as the makers of Coke understand, gives foods a certain je ne sais quoi. Its rich, multifaceted flavor derives in part from the careful hand-rearing the beans receive. The orchid that produces the pods is something of a diva, making vanilla one of the world's most labor-intensive crops.

Read the rest: How vanilla became shorthand for bland.