NCPA June 20, 2024

“Banish the phrase ‘plain vanilla’ from your lexicon,” NPR said in 2014, which we’re reiterating today in honor of June 20 being National Vanilla Milkshake Day. “Why? Because vanilla is one of the most complex spices around, boasting at least 250 different flavor and aroma compounds, only one of which is vanillin, the stuff that can be made artificially in a lab (and is used in a lot of processed foods).” It’s a classic, one of the first flavors (along with chocolate and strawberry) to be used in milkshakes in the early 1900s when the tasty treats were still being shaken by hand. With many of us facing record-bracing temperatures, may we suggest a nice, frigid-cold vanilla milkshake to help beat the heat for a bit today?