How did vanilla come to mean boring? Blame colonialism
Vanilla gets a bad rap. One of the most complex spices, its delicate, sweet-yet-spicy flavor lends itself to woody, berry-like, floral, and rummy notes. Yet, calling something “vanilla” in 2020 is a pointed insult. Vanilla, as an ingredient, is luxurious, imported, and multi-layered in flavor — it makes almost everything better and yet the word has come to mean boring. You probably won’t be surprised to find that vanilla most likely has come to mean boring because of colonialism.