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tity of rotten or damaged pods amounts to at least the double. This last variety is more difficult to dry, because its fruit is larger and more aqueous than that of Colipa, which is produced in savannahs, and not in the mountains, and is called baynilla de acaquales. When the rainy season does not permit the inhabitants of Misantla and Colipa to expose the vanilla to the rays of the sun, they are obliged to i'ecur to an artificial heat, till it have acquired a blackish colour, and is covered with silvery spots (manchas plateadas They form by means of small reeds a frame which they suspend by cords, and cover with woollen cloth, and on which they spread the pods. The fire is placed below, but at a considerable distance. The pods are dried by agitating slightly the frame, and gradually heating the reeds and the cloth. Much care and long experience is necessary to succeed in drying sufficiently the vanilla in this way, which is called beneficio de poscoyol. The loss is generally very great when artificial heat is employed. · At Misantla, the fruits of the vanilla are collected into packets called mazos: a mazo contains 50 pods, consequently a thousand (millar) twenty mazos. Although the whole of the vanilla which enters into commerce appears to be the produce of a single species of epidendrum (Tlilxochitl,) yet the fruit is nevertheless divided into four different classes. The nature of the soil, the humidity of the, air, and the heat of the sun, have all a singular influence on the size of the pod, and the quantity of oily and aromatic parts contained in it. The four classes of vanilla are the following, beginning with those of a superior quality: baynilla fina in which the grande fina and the chica fina or mancuerna are again distinguished; the zacate ; the rezacate, and the basura. Each class is easily recognized in Spain from the manner in which the pacquets are made up. The grande fica is in general 22 centimetres in length*, and each mazo weighs at Misantla ten ounces and a half, and at Colipa from nine to ten ounces. The chica fina is five centimetres shorter than the former, and is purchased one half cheaper. The zacate is a very long vanilla, extremely slender and very acqueous. The basura, of which a pacquet contains a hundred pods, serves only to fill the bottom of the packages sent to Cadiz. The worst quality of the Misantla vanilla is called baynilla cimarona (wild) or baynilla pato ; it is very slender and almost destitute of juice. A sixth variety the baynilla pompona has a very large and beautiful fruit. It has been several times sent to Europe, and by means of the Genoese merchants into

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the Levant; but as its odour is different from the vanilla called grande fina it has never hitherto had any sale. : We see from what has been stated respecting the vanilla that it is with the goodness of this commodity as with that of the quinquina, which not only depends on the species of cinchona from which it proceeds, but also on the height of the country, the exposure of the tree, the period of the harvest, and the care employed in drying the bark. The commerce of both the vanilla and quinquina is in the hands of a few persons called habilitadores because they advance money to the cosecheros, i. e. to the Indians employed in the harvest, who are in this way under the direction of undertakers. The latter draw almost the whole profit of this branch of Mexican industry. The competition among the purchasers is so much less at Misantla and Colipa, as a long experience is necessary to guard against deception in the purchase of prepared vanilla. A single stained pod (manchada) may occasion the loss of a whole chest in the passage from America to Europe. The blemishes which are thus discovered either in the pod or the stalk (garganta) are designated by particular names (mojo negro, mojo blanco, garro.) A prudent purchaser examines over and over the pacquets which he sends in the same chest.


The habilitadores have purchased for the last twelve years, the thousand of vanilla of the first class at an average price of 25 or 35 piastres; the thousand of zacate at ten, and of rezacate at four piastres. In 1803 the price of the grande fina was 50, and the zacate 15 piastres. The purchasers far from paying the Indians in ready money, supply them in barter, and at a very high price, with brandy, cocoa, wine and more especially with cotton cloth manufactured at Puebla. In this barter consists part of the profits of these monopolists.

The district of Papantla, formerly an Alcaldia mayor, is situated 18 leagues to the north of Misantla; it produces very little vanilla, and that little is besides badly dried, though very aromatic. The Indians of Papantla as well as those of Nautla, are accused of introducing themselves furtively into the forests of Quilate for the sake of collecting the fruit of the epidendrum planted by the natives of Misantla. In the intendancy of Oaxaca, the village of Teutila is celebrated for the superior quality of the vanilla produced in the neighbouring forests. It appears that this variety was the first which was introduced into Spain in the sixteenth century; for even at this day the baynilla de Teutila is considered at Cadiz as preferable to every other. It is indeed dried with much care, being pricked with pins and suspended by

threads of the Pite; but it weighs less by nearly a ninth than that of Misantla. I know not the quantity of vanilla produced in the province of Honduras and annually exported from the small port of Truxillo, but it appears to be very inconsiderable.

The forests of Quilate yield in very abundant years 800 millares of vanilla; a bad harvest in very rainy years amounts only to 200. The mean produce is estimated thus

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The value of these 910 millares is at Vera Cruz from 30 to 40,000 piastres. We must add the produce of the harvests of Santiago and San Andres Tuxtla, for which I am in want of sufficiently accurate data. It frequently happens that the harvest of one year does not pass all at once into Europe, but that a part of it is reserved to be added to that of the following year. In 1802, 1793 millares of vanilla left the port of Vera Cruz. It is astonishing that the total consumption of Europe is not greater.

The same eastern slope of the Cordillera on which the vanilla is produced, produces also the sarsaparilla (zarza) of which there was exported

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