The fruit pod of the tropical Vanilla orchid plant. It ranges from four to ten inches long and is cured to a dark brown, almost black, colour. The pulp of the vanilla bean is used to flavour desserts. The beans can be used instead of vanilla extract to achieve a mellow, old-fashioned vanilla flavour, subtler than that offered by extract.
North Americans think of wasabi as Japanese horseradish because it has a bite and flavour similar to Western-style horseradish. Translated from Japanese, it means "mountain hollyhock": it's derived from this plant's root, which grows in clear, cold mountain streams.