Green, white, and black pepper are all the same fruit from the same plant, Piper Nigrum.
Green peppercorns are picked unripe and processed to retain their color, and have a brighter and fresher aroma. Black peppercorns are picked when nearly ripe and dried in the sun, which turns them black. White pepper is the inner seed of the peppercorn, they are soaked for a few days in water and the black skin is rubbed off, it is well suited to dishes where black specks would ruin the visual appeal.
Vanilla beans are the cured and ripened fruit of the vanilla orchid.
In its native Mexico, the flower was pollinated by a small variety of stingless bee in the Melipona genus. Vanilla was impossible to cultivate outside of Mexico until 1841, when a slave living on Reunion Island, Edmond Albius, discovered that they could be hand pollinated in the one day window when the flower blooms. This labor intensive step is still used today, partially accounting for the high price this spice commands.
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What you know as cinnamon may not be from the real cinnamon tree.
Common grocery store cinnamon resembles a hard stick and is actually bark from the cassia family, which is a cousin of true cinnamon. True cinnamon, cinnamomum verum, is much more brittle and delicate, and has a flavor and aroma similar to cinnamon candy.