Madagascar is the worldâ€™s fourth-largest island behind Greenland, New Guinea and Borneo. Madagascar has been an island since about 88 million years ago when it split from India after the super continent Gondwana had broken up. Today, vanilla plants are grown in five main areas of the world. Each region produces vanilla beans with distinctive characteristics and attributes.
Madagascar, an island off the coast of Africa, is the largest producer of vanilla beans in the world and the ensuing vanilla is known as Madagascar Bourbon vanilla. The term Bourbon applies to beans grown on the Bourbon Islands – Madagascar, Comoro, Seychelle and Reunion. Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans are considered to be the highest quality pure vanilla available, described as having a creamy, sweet, smooth, mellow flavor. Indonesia is the second largest producer of vanilla beans, with a vanilla that is woody, astringent and phenolic. Madagascar and Indonesia produce 90 percent of the world’s vanilla bean crop.
Source: http://www.express.co.uk/life-style/top10facts/484819/Top-10-facts-about-Madagascar, http://vanilla.servolux.nl/vanilla_history.html