"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > Recipes & Ingredients > Desserts, Sweets & Cookies & Candy
Click Here to Login
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-07-2007, 09:02 PM   #1
Sous Chef
 
Rom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 715
Question Vanilla Essence VS Imitation Vanilla Essence

OK, hopefully not a really stupid question, but in your opinion, if, say a muffin recipe said to use Vanilla Essence and you use Imitation Vanilla Essence, how different/bad/not a good idea is it? Same goes for a cake or something similar. I don't have a recipe atm, but in general. Would it be a crime to use imitation?

How big of a difference is it?

thanks

__________________

Rom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:18 PM   #2
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,925
Rom, not meaning to burst anyone's bubble, but I never use imitation vanilla. Actually, I use my own homemade vanilla. I think the imitation stuff is wimpy and can't stand up to the "real" thing.
__________________

__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:35 PM   #3
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kadesma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: california
Posts: 21,371
Rom,
I'm with Katie here. I adore the flavor of vanilla and so do my grand kids. So, while I don't make my own, I do buy one that is a little high priced, but the taste and the flavor are so wonderful..I make the kids french toast pretty often and one morning forgot the vanilla, and all of them thought their moms had made the meal and asked for ma's toast So it's well worth the money to me...I do find that the imitation needs to be doubled to even come close in smell and flavor to the real thing, and after the first bite, the taste diminishes. NOw this is just my feelings, others may not feel this way..We all like different things and amounts of them.
kadesma
__________________
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
kadesma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 09:57 PM   #4
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: NW NJ
Posts: 1,884
I'm with Katie E and kadesma--go with the real extract. For anything fresh, I go for scraping the pods.
__________________
"To be broke is not a disgrace, it is only a catastrophe." -- Nero Wolfe/Rex Stout
bullseye is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 11:16 PM   #5
Sous Chef
 
Rom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 715
Thanks for that, i was wondering why the imitation bottle was like triple the size of the actual stuff lol
Rom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-07-2007, 11:38 PM   #6
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Des Moines Iowa
Posts: 1,213
Where I live there is a huge Maexican/latin population all good citizens
and I buy my Vanilla from them and it is very good.
__________________
Cook with passion or don't cook at all
Dave Hutchins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 12:02 PM   #7
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,062
Some Cooks Illustrated taste testers preferred imitation vanilla extract!

From CI: "Most participants in that tasting, including pastry chefs and baking experts, couldn't tell the difference between imitation vanilla and the real thing: pure vanilla extract. Even though we have repeated that tasting and gotten the same results, we've never quite overcome our disbelief.... Despite the widespread hue and cry in the food world about the inferiority of imitation vanilla-experts agree that it lacks the flavor nuances and subtleties of pure vanilla extract-our tasters found it to be perfectly acceptable in cake and custard. The imitation vanillas earned high enough scores to be recommended alongside all of the pure vanillas. In fact, every extract we tasted scored its way into the "recommended" category of the chart on page 27."


McCormick Imitation -- "Some tasters picked up on a “very smooth” and “rich, round flavor,”while others complained that the flavor was “off,” “bland,”and “lacked depth.” Its supporters were more numerous, though,as evidenced by a strong rating."



Nielsen-Massey -- "Here again we ran into the problem of a very perfumed yet delicately flavored vanilla extract. It was “completely inoffensive” to some, and “plain,” with “not much nuance,” to others. Any subtle characteristics it might have displayed were completely lost in the yellow cake."



I personally think imitation vanilla extract is fine in some things, esp. baked goods.
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 12:03 PM   #8
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Hutchins
Where I live there is a huge Maexican/latin population all good citizens
and I buy my Vanilla from them and it is very good.

Very cheap vanilla from Mexico can be poisonous, so be careful

Mexican Vanilla
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 12:56 PM   #9
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
According to my resident "chemist" Imitation vanilla is the exact same as pure vanilla chemically! Pure vanilla has other "stuff" in it from the bean, but the part from the bean that gives it it's taste is exactly duplicated in the imitation
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 12:59 PM   #10
Chef Extraordinaire
 
jennyema's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Boston and Cape Cod
Posts: 10,062
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob
According to my resident "chemist" Imitation vanilla is the exact same as pure vanilla chemically! Pure vanilla has other "stuff" in it from the bean, but the part from the bean that gives it it's taste is exactly duplicated in the imitation
Yes, the Ci article went into this, as well. "On the molecular level, this synthetic vanillin is indistinguishable from natural vanillin: "
__________________
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
jennyema is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 01:05 PM   #11
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Monroe, Michigan
Posts: 5,912
Send a message via Yahoo to Barb L.
I use both, can't really tell a difference, but I do not do a lot of baking either.
__________________
Grandma's Boys - Isaiah (11) Cameron (3 )
Barb L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 01:52 PM   #12
Sous Chef
 
Rom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 715
now that article is very very interesting!

so its the "extra stuff" thats makes it cost 5 times as much... :) i c i c

:S @ poisonous vanilla
Rom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 01:55 PM   #13
Sous Chef
 
Rom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 715
i doubt anything could stand up to the homemade stuff could it? :) i haven't tried but i am guessing :)

do u use exra when u are using imitation Barb L like kadesma mentioned?
Rom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-08-2007, 01:58 PM   #14
Master Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Monroe, Michigan
Posts: 5,912
Send a message via Yahoo to Barb L.
Not really maybe a little. when I make french toast I don't really measure, just por some in, (we love it).
__________________
Grandma's Boys - Isaiah (11) Cameron (3 )
Barb L. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 10:56 AM   #15
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 375
Quote:
From CI: "Most participants in that tasting, including pastry [COLOR=orange ! important][COLOR=orange ! important]chefs[/color][/color] and baking experts, couldn't tell the difference between imitation vanilla and the real thing: pure vanilla extract. Even though we have repeated that tasting and gotten the same results, we've never quite overcome our disbelief.... Despite the widespread hue and cry in the food world about the inferiority of imitation vanilla-experts agree that it lacks the flavor nuances and subtleties of pure vanilla extract-our tasters found it to be perfectly acceptable in cake and [COLOR=orange ! important][COLOR=orange ! important]custard[/color][/color]. The imitation vanillas earned high enough scores to be recommended alongside all of the pure vanillas. In fact, every extract we tasted scored its way into the "recommended" category of the chart on page 27."
Yeah, I can't really tell the difference either. But then again, my palette has about as much subtlety as sledgehammer to the balls... which is not very subtle at all.

I never use imitation though. I'm a snob and a purist. My rationalization is that even if I can't tell the difference, someone wwho eats my food might.

Here's a trick for making your own vanilla extract (or perhaps the right word is infusion). Just get yourself a cup of top quality Vodka like Grey Goose or Belvedere or whatever, and then chop up a couple of vanilla pods and bottle them up in the vodka for about a month, shaking the botle up every once in a while. At the end, strain through cheesecloth and you've got your vanilla infusion.

Way cheaper than even the cheapest grocery store alternatives although not nearly as cheap as artificial, unless you make it in bulk. (I would think if you start making litres and litres of the stuff, you'd probably eventually out-cheap even the cheapest artificial.)
jasonr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 12:15 PM   #16
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Uncle Bob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Small Town Mississippi
Posts: 17,515
Ya breakin my heart Jason! Can't I use Cheap Vodka, to make this stuff!

I think I'll stick with imitation vanilla, and save my Belvedere & Goose for drinking!!

Enjoy!
__________________
There is only one Quality worse than Hardness of Heart, and that is Softness of Head.

Kool-Aid...Think Before You Drink
Uncle Bob is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 12:27 PM   #17
Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dania Beach, Florida
Posts: 77
One possible important difference is that real vanilla extract has alcohol in it. I once made some cookies using the real vanilla extract and a guy immediately sniffed it out and asked me if it was real vanilla and said he had to decline because hes an alcoholic and couldnt touch the temptation. I was amazed at his sensory for alcohol!!!
DaniaBchGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 12:59 PM   #18
Cook
 
KitchenSally's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 79
I only use pure vanilla extract. I "think" I can tell the difference, would be interesting to actually test that.
KitchenSally is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 01:17 PM   #19
Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Dania Beach, Florida
Posts: 77
My mom always used the immitation stuff so thats what I bought. Then the day I actually splurged on the real stuff.... POW!!! What a difference!!!! I wont use anything less now.
DaniaBchGirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2007, 07:06 PM   #20
Sous Chef
 
Rom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 715
well then i guess i iwill have to make double the amount of chocolate muffins LOL...and of course eat them :D just to try the difference of course not because i like chocolate muffins and want to eat lots of them ;) hehehe mwuahahaha good excuse to eat them ;)

im impressed withthe guys ability to sniff out the real stuff though! Might give making some a go when i get some time it sounds simple enough thanks :)

i haven't heard of htose brands in austraia...we get absolut and others but not those...i think we have soe int he cupboard, we only use for Long Islands - don't drink it otherwise.

did u tell ur mum its POW? did u convert her to the real stuff?

__________________

Rom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
None

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off





Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:55 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.