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Old 03-23-2005, 06:25 AM   #1
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Extracts online?

Hi everyone,

Can anybody point me towards a good online source of extracts (powdered or liquid) that go beyond the usual vanilla, rum, and almond? (Sorry to sound picky, but preferably one that ships internationally )

Does anyone know a good source for oganic extracts and food colourings?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts, happy cooking to all

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Old 03-23-2005, 12:22 PM   #2
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I'd start at Penzeys. They have a great reputation and I hear them mentioned often here on the forums. I'm lucky enough to have access to a couple great stores that have vritually everything I could ever need so I've not ordered from them personally yet.


Z

Edit: Just paid attention to the "ships internationally" part. I'm not sure if Penzeys does that or not. Hope so!
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Old 03-23-2005, 07:15 PM   #3
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i have a question too,regarding extracts.....is mcormick's "PURE ALMOND EXTRACT" made with bitter almonds or the regular ones?(hate bitter almond extract)
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarah
i have a question too,regarding extracts.....is mcormick's "PURE ALMOND EXTRACT" made with bitter almonds or the regular ones?(hate bitter almond extract)
According to the label it contains: WATER, ALCOHOL (36%), AND OIL OF BITTER ALMOND
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Old 03-24-2005, 04:59 PM   #5
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shoot, with that much alcohol who cares if the almonds are bitter!

Actually I never knew there could be that difference so thanks sarah. I always buy the Madagascar vanilla and it's wonderful!!!!
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitchenelf
shoot, with that much alcohol who cares if the almonds are bitter!

Actually I never knew there could be that difference so thanks sarah. I always buy the Madagascar vanilla and it's wonderful!!!!
its awful,makes everything u put it in,taste bitter.
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Old 03-24-2005, 07:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael in FtW
According to the label it contains: WATER, ALCOHOL (36%), AND OIL OF BITTER ALMOND
thanks Michael! can you tell me where can we find a good almond extract which is NOT made with bitter almonds,and whats the brand?i dont think mcCormick makes it....
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:49 AM   #8
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Hi Sarah, I buy my almond and vanilla extracts at SAMS Club. I buy the pure variety and I use it regularly in my baking. The almond extract is not bitter. I use it to make biscotti's and also in other recipes and it's perfect.

I am not sure what other extracts you are looking for. I buy a lot of mine at my local Indian grocer. I like the fact that the extracts that are sold there are more oil based and does not have any alcohol in them.

I buy a lot of the ones considered exotic here but a staple in my house there - Rose, Kewra (it's a flower that is extremely fragrant and used in pilafs and biryanis), Mango, Pineapple, Lemon, etc.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:32 AM   #9
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thanks yakuta! i'll look for them at SAMS CLUB now,there's a small indian store in our town,i'm not sure if they have all these extracts,but i'm gonna look.....i also prefer the ones that are oil based...
would you mind checking your inbox? i'm sending you a PM!
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Old 03-25-2005, 08:26 PM   #10
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Sarah - you sent me back to the books on this one ... since bitter almonds are not available in the US. But, thanks to Harold McGee (On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen - Revised, page 506) I think I found an answer for you.

The flavor and aromatic component in almond extract is a chemical called benzaldehyde ... which is found in wild or bitter almonds - something missing from our sweet domesticated almonds. "Pure" almond extract is made from bitter almonds, "Natural" almond flavored extracts contain the benzaldehyde extracted from cassia bark, and "Imitation" extract contains benzaldehyde synthesized from pure chemicals. So, whether it's Pure, Natural or Imitation almond extract - it's going to have about the same flavor.

ALTERNATIVES: I can only think of two. (1) Grind some sweet almonds into an almond "flour" (powder) and add that to your recipe. (2) Make your own extract ... grind some sweet almonds and soak them for a while (several days/weeks/months) in 80-Proof Bourbon or 100-Proof Vodka or 200-Proof Everclear ... bring just to a boil and then remove from the heat and allow to steep covered until cool, then bottle. The alcohol content is 1/2 the "Proof" of the alcohol you use ... 40% for 80-Proof, 50% for 100-Proof, 100% for 200-Proof.

Added 26 March: Sorry I forgot this part ... after allowing the almonds to sit in the alcohol for a week or more (shake every day) ... put into a sauce pan and simmer uncovered until reduced by half. This will cook out some of the alcohol and concentrate the flavor. When cool - strain thru a coffee filter and discard the solids.

"Pure" extracts of anything are generally alcohol soluable ... and will be 20%-40% alcohol. Look at the labels the next time you're in the spice isle.

Hope this helps, Sarah!
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