Well, that’s a different question…. When the seed pods of the Mexican orchid Vanilla planifola are collected, they are put through an elaborate series of curing and aging steps. These steps allow additional flavor molecules to develop beyond just vanillin. While vanillin is a major flavor component of natural vanilla, there are hundreds of other tasty chemicals in “natural vanilla.” So you’re not buying exactly the same thing when you buy artificial and natural vanilla. Which one tastes better in your cookies is up to you, though.