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Old 01-04-2008, 09:03 PM   #1
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What's Your Favorite Vanilla?

Does anyone have a favorite Vanilla to use? Also, do we have any chocolate experts on here that could clue us in more to the best of the best vanilla. I personally love Neilsen Massey Vanilla but I am curious to what others use and find the best...

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Old 01-04-2008, 10:39 PM   #2
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Without a doubt, Watkins makes the best vanilla I have ever tasted. This is one of their flagship products and they go to great lengths to keep the quality high. They also make a double-strength product that allows you to cut down the total amount of alcohol without sacrificing flavor.

And before anyone asks: no, I don't sell it (although I used to, but I have remained loyal to a few of the product lines).
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Old 01-04-2008, 11:30 PM   #3
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Im guessing since you mentioned alcohol your talking about vanilla extract. If that is the case then I second the Watkins vote..but I only use real vanilla bean...once you've had vanilla bean there is no going back to extract.
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:18 AM   #4
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Where is the best place to order HIGH quality vanilla beans online?
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Old 01-05-2008, 02:39 AM   #5
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Where is the best place to order HIGH quality vanilla beans online?
Hmm I don't know...I buy them from cosco lol...I hear they can get pretty expensive online though...
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Old 01-05-2008, 08:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aguynamedrobert View Post
Where is the best place to order HIGH quality vanilla beans online?


Try this place:

Penzeys
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Old 01-05-2008, 11:24 AM   #7
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Does anyone have any experience with the vanilla beans at World Market? Despite their slightly EPCOTish aesthetic, some of the other spices I've gotten there were pretty good. I might have to give them a shot next time I'm nearby. Heck, at two beans for a dollar, it'd be worth it in experience!
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #8
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Im guessing since you mentioned alcohol your talking about vanilla extract. If that is the case then I second the Watkins vote..but I only use real vanilla bean...once you've had vanilla bean there is no going back to extract.
Every time I look, I can never find the beans . So I have never been able to compare. But I'd have to think you are right, almost anything fresh will be better!

I've heard that some people toss the bean pods in with their sugar to give it a subtle vanilla flavor. Anyone here do that?
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:28 PM   #9
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Every time I look, I can never find the beans . So I have never been able to compare. But I'd have to think you are right, almost anything fresh will be better!

I've heard that some people toss the bean pods in with their sugar to give it a subtle vanilla flavor. Anyone here do that?
Yeah I alway scrape out the tiny black seeds then add the rest of the bean. Actually the pod has more flavor in it than the bean.

The only thing I have ever actually side by side compared extract vr real bean to in tasting was creme brulee and man it is completely different. Eating the real bean creme brulee then the extract one makes the extract taste almost fake.

Oh and if any of you have a cosco near you, they sell vanilla beans in packs of 20 for 10$. SO its only .50 cents a bean.
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Old 01-05-2008, 12:30 PM   #10
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I've tried a few others, but I still prefer Penzey's vanilla.
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Old 01-05-2008, 01:59 PM   #11
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Yeah I've seen some people make Vanilla Sugar. You just use the inside of the bean to flavor a dessert and then you put the bean in with container of sugar for like a week. The vanilla will penetrate the sugar and flavor it.

As for ordering the beans. I just checked out Penzey. So those are good vanilla beans they send? They are nice and plump, long, and not brittle? I think I might try them.

How are costco's beans? I'm guessing they are not top quality but I could be wrong...anyone know of the quality on those beans?

Thanks everyone for all your help so far...
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Old 01-05-2008, 04:21 PM   #12
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I picked up some Vanilla Beans at World Market over the Holiday's when I realized my stash had turned into elongated bricks. I was very happy with 'em. BTW, I've been making vanilla sugar with the beans for years.
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Old 01-05-2008, 06:26 PM   #13
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I'd like to try the vanilla sugar too. I've been using the Adams Extract stuff for years but I'd like something new and tasty this time around. What would be the conversion for vanilla sugar if the recipe asks for 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract?
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Old 01-06-2008, 09:50 AM   #14
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I don't use vanilla sugar as a substitute for vanilla extract. I use vanilla sugar for things like coffee, simple syrup, cinnamon sugar, sub for regular sugar in baking recipes for another layer of flavor, etc.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:10 PM   #15
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Thanks for the tips PytnPlace. I will get my vanilla sugar going here.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:25 PM   #16
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I always buy my vanilla online. The local store charges $15 for 2 dried out beans! I have bought from a handful of online stores, but have found the best quality beans come from a company called Beanilla Trading Company. You can find them online at LINK REMOVED. They have several types of vanilla beans, and other vanilla products too! Happy cooking!
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Old 01-09-2008, 11:57 PM   #17
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If you ever travel to Mexico, don't go back home without some vanilla. The vanilla here is absolutely wonderful. But don't buy it at some souvenir shop/tourist trap - just go to a grocery store. I use a brand called Orlando, which is aged and organically grown. I pay the equivalent of about $3 for 250 ml. Makes everything I bake taste better.
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Old 01-10-2008, 09:46 AM   #18
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That sounds wonderful! If I ever make it to Mexico, Tahiti, or Madagascar, I would love to visit a vanilla farm! As for now, I will have to settle for what I can purchase online!
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Old 01-10-2008, 10:36 AM   #19
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I use La Pura vanilla extract. I've never tried using the bean itself. Maybe I'll stop by World Market and try some after reading this thread.
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Old 01-10-2008, 11:05 AM   #20
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If you ever travel to Mexico, don't go back home without some vanilla. The vanilla here is absolutely wonderful. But don't buy it at some souvenir shop/tourist trap - just go to a grocery store. I use a brand called Orlando, which is aged and organically grown. I pay the equivalent of about $3 for 250 ml. Makes everything I bake taste better.
my mother used to get vanilla from Mexico to make her pies for the restaurant with. It was better and much cheaper!!! When ever someone was going down we knew they would bring back bottles of the stuff.. This was prior to the internet. Now I imagine you can just order it.
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