Vanilla comes from a special species of orchid. Consuming natural vanilla causes the body to release catecholamines, including adrenalin and for this reason it is considered to be mildly addictive.
When vanilla plants were first exported from Mexico to other
tropical climes, they flowered, but wouldn’t produce vanilla pods.
It was discovered that a bee native to Mexico was the only
creature that could pollinate vanilla flowers.
Attempts to move the bee to other countries failed and it was not
until a slave boy discovered a method of artificial pollination
that Mexico lost its monopoly on vanilla. As well as being mildly
addictive, vanilla has also been found to block bacterial
infections. Ice cream with real flecks of vanilla beans (and
maybe some bacon bits) is probably doubly addictive.