Edmond Albius, a slave born on the island of Reunion off the coast of Africa in 1829, is responsible for preserving one of the world's favorite flavors. At the very young age of 12, Albius used the principle research skill of observation to develop a method for pollinating the Vanilla plant. Vanilla, a flavor that is sought after around the world, only grows naturally in a few places on the planet. Without insect pollination, the spice requires hand pollination. Although a method for hand pollination previously existed, it was inefficient and unprofitable. In 1841 Albius devised a method of hand pollination, using a blade of grass and a thumb gesture, that allowed for efficient production and profitability; this method is still in use today in 2016. Although several synthetic versions of Vanilla flavor have since been developed, Albius' ingenuity remains the most significant reason that anyone today can enjoy natural Vanilla flavor.