Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla native to Mexico. Etymologically, vanilla derives from the Spanish word "vainilla", (little pod). Originally cultivated by Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican peoples, Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés is credited with introducing both the spice and chocolate to Europe in the 1520s. There were several attempts made to cultivate the vanilla plant outside of Mexico and Central America which proved futile because of the symbiotic relationship between the tlilxochitl vine that produced the vanilla orchid and the local species of Melipona bee. It was not until 1837 that Belgian botanist Charles François Antoine Morren discovered this fact and pioneered a method of artificially pollinating the plant.