“Plain vanilla:” a pejorative used to describe something common, dull, and boring; something unimaginative. “More than the sum of its parts,” implies the metallurgical transformation that sometimes occurs when ordinary ingredients combine to become something extraordinary that separately they could never achieve. Plain vanilla cookies. Plain vanilla pudding. Sliced bananas. Simple egg whites and sugar that whisk into astonishing shiny curlicues.
Bonus for the cook: short trip through a time and memory worm hole to become a child again, licking the bowl.