"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > General Cooking
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 09-30-2006, 12:16 AM   #31
Head Chef
 
RPCookin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Logan County, Colorado
Posts: 2,054
Just checked out the bottle my wife brought back from Mexico earlier this year. Ingredients are water, ethyl alcohol, vanilla pod, natural coloring and preservative. The bottle specifically states that it does NOT contain coumarin.
__________________

__________________
Rick
RPCookin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2006, 12:58 AM   #32
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA,NewJersey
Posts: 403
A few years back Trader Joes used to sell 4 oz. of the Neilsen-Massey vanilla for $5. Those were the days. I was in vanilla heaven. Then the cyclone hit in Madagascar and the availability/prices skyrocketed. Although they've come down slightly since then, the demand for vanilla is such that it's still costly (Darn Food Network!).

TJs stop selling the Neilsen-Massey and replaced it with their own Madagascar/Tahitian blend. It's no Neilsen-Massey, but it is $4 for 4 oz. Compare that to $19 for 8 oz. for the Neilsen-Massey at Williams Sonoma, and it's a huge bargain. It's less than half the price, but definitely more than half the potency.

I've tried the Penzey's double strength. For the price that they're charging, it should have an in your face potency. It doesn't. I'm also not at all happy about the added sugar. Penzey's is 13.99 for a 4 oz. bottle of double strength extract. The Penzey's double strength is definitely stronger than the madagascar/tahitian single strength TJs, but there's no chance in heck it's 3.5 times stronger. No way. Maybe double. At this potency/price this makes Penzey more costly than Williams Sonoma. I didn't think it was possible for any store to be more expensive than Williams Sonoma, especially when Penzey's spices are so inexpensive. But for some reason vanilla at Penzey's... cha ching!

If I had money to burn... I'd probably get Neilsen-Massey vanilla (along with 3 year old Parmigiano Reggiano). With my budget as it is, it's TJs all the way (for my both my vanilla and my 1 yr. old parm).
__________________

__________________
scott123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2006, 12:59 AM   #33
Senior Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: USA,NewJersey
Posts: 403
Quote:
Originally Posted by bevkile
It will never get as dark as what you buy, but that is because commercial vanilla has "burned sugar" added to it, so my bil told me. I looked at the ingredients on some of my "pure vanilla" and none of them used sugar as an additive but they did have corn syrup added.
Your bil is incorrect. Some commercial vanillas contain sugar/corn syrup but many do not and are still dark colored. The reason why your homemade extract wasn't as dark as the commercial stuff was because you weren't using enough beans. For 750ml of vodka (I'd, personally, use grain alcohol for a cleaner taste) you'd want to use at least 12 beans, definitely not 4.
__________________
scott123 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-30-2006, 03:57 AM   #34
Chef Extraordinaire
 
kadesma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: california
Posts: 21,373
This is interesting, I love vanilla but with the ones I'd had at home there was always something missing in the finished product. Then smell when mixing was great, but no hint at all when finished. I was watching a program on food network I think or PBS and they were talking about vanilla. It was said to check the label and get one with no sugar added to it, and to get pure vanilla. So I started looking and found the usual and then two unknown to me. I tried the Morton Basset pure vanilla..The smell was wondrful, so I used it in some french toast, there it was that thing that was missing from the others a slight hint of vanilla in your mouth...I have to say, it made my old hum drum french toast come to life..So for me I can tell the difference in vanilla and am I glad I watched that program.
kadesma
__________________
HEAVEN is Cade, Ethan,Carson, and Olivia,Alyssa,Gianna
kadesma is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 12:35 AM   #35
Head Chef
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bloomington, IN
Posts: 1,129
Send a message via AIM to college_cook
I don't bake much, so I normally use the imitation stuff if I'm just experiemnting or making something on the fly. When I do some serious baking then I pull out my botle of pure vanilla extract.

An interesting sidenote about flavor differences, I love the flavor imparted by vanilla beans a gazillion times better than any extracts or imitations I have tried. The restaurant I work for actually makes their own vanilla extract, and I'm curious s to how the process is done. I do know that Absolut vodka is involved in some way. (For those who don't know, "pure vanilla extract" labaled vanilla products contain around 32-35% alcohol)
__________________
college_cook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 02:00 AM   #36
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
Always used real extract (raised on McCormick's; moved to Penzey's) but now I have to remember to bring some home from trips as it's not available here. Right now, I'm fresh out.

Here they use odd little capsules of a white powder. The name (and smell) is clearly indicating vanilla ("van-EE-lya") but it has to be artificial. I'd rather use alternate flavoring than fake so my white cakes have a hint of orange or lemon.

I thought one day I'd found the real deal at an extremely comprehensive spice specialty store down in the bowels of this big city, and they said it WAS "real" vanilla extract (a wee little bottle, to be used in drops) ... but if it was "real" anything, it was real vanillin. Ick and double ick. I chucked it.

My only alternative is to buy the beans, as frighteningly expensive here as anywhere (over 1 Euro a bean). Thus I have ... one ... sitting in a spice jar looking at me, and one of these days when I want to make a recipe where I absolutely can't avoid the flavor (homemade vanilla ice cream, let's say), I'll split it and use it and be right back where I was, between a rock and a hard place!
__________________
XeniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 09:17 AM   #37
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2,977
A bit like those HUGE packs of 'saffron' that you can buy in Greek island markets... which turns out to be turmeric when you get it home, Ayrton!

I fell for it ONCE on Crete. Too cute to do so again
__________________
Ishbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 09:26 AM   #38
Executive Chef
 
bethzaring's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Northern New Mexico
Posts: 4,603
I buy Neilsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon vanilla by the quart, for $37.95, which works out to about $9.50 for 8 ounces. I have never tried Penzey's. I buy my vanilla online through King Arthur. They(KA) also charge $19.95 for 8 ounces.
__________________
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. Margaret Mead
bethzaring is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 10:05 AM   #39
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 665
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
A bit like those HUGE packs of 'saffron' that you can buy in Greek island markets... which turns out to be turmeric when you get it home, Ayrton!

I fell for it ONCE on Crete. Too cute to do so again
Well, gosh, my tail IS between my legs for the entirety of my adopted country if you got gyped thus, Ishbel!

What's strange is that I do actually think we produce saffron here, as in, I have a vague memory of a documentary on it. Now if that's the case, why did you get ripped off???

Will investigate. Take it up with the authorities and all that.
__________________
XeniA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-01-2006, 10:17 AM   #40
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Scotland
Posts: 2,977
Seriously, I've had quite a few friends/acquaintances fall for the 'amazing value saffron' scam. I was caught by my greed. I even questioned the stallholder, who'd lived in London, and who categorically assured me it was 'genuine saffron, powdered as is the custom here'.... YEAH, right!

It's happened to friends on Cyprus, Paxon, Rhodes, Crete (me and two others with me at the market in Chania!) and Corful.

As they sell it on market stalls, I suspect the authorities are either turning a blind eye, or are unaware of the scam!!
__________________

__________________
Ishbel is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.