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Old 10-01-2006, 10:25 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thymeless
In cooked foods, Cook's Illustrated blind tasting panel found no difference between artificial and the real thing. Except cost of course.

In uncooked foods, they could tell the difference and preferred the real thing.

I don't bake a lot of sweets so I don't sweat it too much.

thymeless
And I say that is just unbelievable--but they printed it. Vanillin has a very definite taste that is not pleasant.
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:25 AM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
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!!
The "powdered as is the custom here" is a red flag right off. I'm well enough acquainted with the Greek stuff sold in supermarkets ... and it ain't powdered!

Was kidding about taking it up with the authorities , so please don't hold your breath for results. I wouldn't know where to get a "saffron authority" if I tried. Wonder what the package's small print in Greek said, though?
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:27 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by scott123
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.
Yup--many many many beans at a cost of how much for a homemade bottle of "vanilla"!!! I have tried--just not for me in the least.
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Old 10-01-2006, 10:46 AM   #44
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I went on:

www.penzeys.com and ordered their free catalog and then went on their

search-vanilla-and got their prices and some great recipes. I see they have a store in Madison, Wi., the next time I am there to visit one of my sons I will have to stop in. I love those kinds of stores.
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Old 10-01-2006, 11:01 AM   #45
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I'm not really sure what the brand-name of the vanilla I use it, but I know that it's pure vanilla. One of my friends only uses artificial vanilla extract, and I can always tell. The first time, she had made brownies, and I was eating some, and couldn't really tell what that flavor in the background was... Then she told me about how she always uses imitation vanilla, lo and behold, the taste I was thinking about a split second earlier was the similiar-to-maple flavor of artificial vanilla. If I didn't have good vanilla, I would definitely use an alternate, not inferior, flavoring.

-Tim
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Old 10-01-2006, 03:41 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoAnn L.
I went on:

www.penzeys.com and ordered their free catalog and then went on their

search-vanilla-and got their prices and some great recipes.
For herbs/spices Penzeys is phenomenal, but when it comes to vanilla, I'm going to repeat what I said before- Penzeys vanilla is a huge ripoff.
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Old 10-01-2006, 06:48 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 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)
Actually ethyl alcohol (the brand Im familiar with is called Everclear) is better to use than vodka as it imparts less of it's own flavor to the extract. As mentioned earlier in this thread, you just have to put several pods in a bottle of alcohol and leave it to soak for a couple of months to extract the flavor from the vanilla beans.
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:10 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RPCookin
Actually ethyl alcohol (the brand Im familiar with is called Everclear) is better to use than vodka as it imparts less of it's own flavor to the extract. As mentioned earlier in this thread, you just have to put several pods in a bottle of alcohol and leave it to soak for a couple of months to extract the flavor from the vanilla beans.
Where does one buy Everclear?
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:49 AM   #49
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I use Tahitian vanilla! Wonderful stuff, but I dont think it makes its way out of the South Pacific.
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Old 10-02-2006, 09:06 AM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bevkile
Where does one buy Everclear?
Everclear is a brand name of grain alcohol. It is illegal in some states. In know that it is illegal in MA so we need to go to NH to buy it. Usually it is not in plain sight. You would have to ask an employee for it. They would go in the back room and get it for you. It can be very dangerous stuff if used carelessly.
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