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Old 01-02-2009, 03:03 PM   #1
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Vanilla and some remotely related things

Here in Brazil it is almost impossible to get hold of the real thing. I have brought some real vanilla (pods?) with me from Norway and I am saving them for a special occasion. And after use, I put them in a box of sugar. But..

In daily use, I have been using some artificial vanilla "sugar" (powder) that I also brought from Norway. Cheap and effective for many uses, but of course not when you want to make icecream or caramel pudding.

The problem now is that I am running out of this and have to start using vanilla essense. Yes, I know, another syntetic problem. My problem though is to figure out how much to use of this compared to the powder version I am used to?

Real vanilla is extremely expensive here. And if you can find it, most likely, the quality is bad. I found some in a shop in Sao Paulo, but it was very dry. Not something I wanted to pay for. I asked a local shop where I live for vanilla and the guy laughed at me. Waaaaaay too expensive to stock even a few of.

I will still search for a good place in Sao Paulo to buy it. The city has about 20 mill people, so there is a good chance that there is a shop somewhere that has it :-) But in the mean time, I have to learn how to use the essense... My recipes use the powder.

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Old 01-02-2009, 04:03 PM   #2
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Sounds like you will need to find an online source. I do not know if these folks will ship to Brazil but you can check for yourself. My friend buys chiefly from The Organic Vanilla Bean Company, Arizona Vanilla Company and Beanilla. Check both their home pages as well as their listings on eBay - often they'll have sales on one but not on the other, and toward the end of the season they'll have all kinds of special deals to get rid of their stock. Excellent product and customer service.
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:07 PM   #3
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see also recipe how to take vodka and vanilla beans and make your own vanilla extract:
How to make Vanilla Extract, Vanilla Beans, history,facts, recipes
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Old 01-02-2009, 04:41 PM   #4
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What a strange world we live in! There are some things I absolutely cannot find in Mexico that I long for, and yet vanilla is available everywhere, and very inexpensive, with very high quality. But availability is limited to the extract - I have never seen vanilla powder here. Since that is what I am used to using in the US, that is fine with me.
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Old 01-02-2009, 05:58 PM   #5
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Whatcha longing for, Karen? Maybe we can do a swap!

Lee
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Old 01-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PieSusan View Post
Sounds like you will need to find an online source. I do not know if these folks will ship to Brazil but you can check for yourself. My friend buys chiefly from The Organic Vanilla Bean Company, Arizona Vanilla Company and Beanilla. Check both their home pages as well as their listings on eBay - often they'll have sales on one but not on the other, and toward the end of the season they'll have all kinds of special deals to get rid of their stock. Excellent product and customer service.
This looks totally amazing! I will try to find someone that can bring me some when they travel because it might be a problem to get into Brazil unless you carry it in. I am just thinking of all the wonderful stuff I could make...
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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QSis, I can't begin to describe how difficult it is to mail things in and out of Mexico...especially food items. Sometimes food items are even confiscated at the airport! There are very stringent duties on imports, and the Mexican mail system is virtually nonexistent. So, to ship something from the US, you have to use UPS, Fedex or DHL, and even then, the packages are usually assessed 100% duty. I usually have people that I know are going back and forth bring me stuff - recently, a friend brought me Trader Joes' Chai, curry powder, poultry seasoning, cardamon, and some hot paprika. Things I can rarely find include molasses, sliced almonds, dry mustard, and albacore tuna. When I find it, I buy alot and hoard it- LOL. On the other hand, I can buy the most outrageously wonderful fresh produce, chicken and pork. Limes are 4 pesos (about 30 cents) a kilo right now - the same for oranges. Fresh, hot tortillas are 8 pesos a kilo. Guavas, mangoes, papaya, pineapple - all fresh and field-ripened. So I can't really complain much...sometimes we just want molasses cookies or a really good tuna sandwich, though.
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Old 01-02-2009, 08:19 PM   #8
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oh Karen...you are making me miss home!!!!

I did find a little spice shop in town that sells vanilla beans... a little too dry for my liking but at least they were there. Maybe, they'll be fresher next time.
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Old 01-02-2009, 10:18 PM   #9
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I would love to do food swaps around the globe, but as Karen pointed out getting it in and out of the country is next to impossible.
I once sent horseradish to Canada labeled as a stuffed animal... Shhhh don't tell anyone!!
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Old 01-03-2009, 07:29 AM   #10
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Really Karen and Mav? Geez, that never occurred to me.

Bummer!

Lee
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