Recipes with milk and/or cream (panna cotta, ice cream, pastry cream, ...) often ask for the seeds of a vanilla pod (in Europe at least). A fair proportion of those also mention to throw the pod in the dairy as well. Since I re-use the pod afterwards (for vanilla sugar or vanilla extract), I have to clean them and I don't like to do so.
Is there a real flavour difference in adding the pod as well, given that you can scrape almost all the seeds out? Do recipes just ask you to do so, because you'd get more seeds in the milk or cream, or does the pod itself give a special flavour?