silvertipgrizz Posts: 1,990 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in General Recipes

Looks like a 'Honka' Dahlia but tastes like vanilla. 🤔


  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for posting. This is an interesting article with links to other articles as well. I just put up my first batch of home-made vanilla extract a couple days ago, now waiting impatiently to see how it comes out. That got me interested in reading about vanilla, and this site is a good place to start.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    Great article. I love vanilla beans and refuse to make homemade ice cream with out them!! I have 2 small jars of used beans soaking in vodka for my homemade vanilla extract! Should be ready in another week or so!!

  • kbmbillups1
    kbmbillups1 Posts: 1,377 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ltwickey  I have vanilla beans soaking in vodka as well. I've been using it slowly for 2 years and need to make some more soon.

  • naomi.kohlmeier
    naomi.kohlmeier Posts: 380 ✭✭✭

    Well, I went down the Vanilla Bean rabbit hole. Now I'm going to try to make my own extract. We have Vanilla Extract at work, but I can't justify paying 50.00 for a 4 ounce bottle. Or $30 for Vanilla Bean Paste.

    Thanks @silvertipgrizz

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin

    I have made vanilla extract, but am now treating it as gold. Did you know that the price was the same as (or more than) gold 2-3 years ago? It hasn't dropped and availability from various regions has gone way down.

    Typhoons wracked Madagascar & destroyed plantations, twice in a row. I have no idea what happened to the Uruguayan nor the Tahitian supplies.

    I just can't bring myself to use up what is left of my extract except for on special occasions. I am substituting other homemade extracts & almond extract when appropriate in recipes or avoiding it entirely.

    Where are all of you sourcing your beans? I was using and bought the extract grade beans & ground beans in bulk until the disasters happened.

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    Since I just bought vanilla beans for the first time, I don't know what to expect for prices, and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I just went with my first thought...Amazon.,,,for a source. The behemoth offers several pages of vanilla bean choices, most of which appear to be from reputable companies and have 4 to 5 star ratings with many reviews. Prices for 10-packs range from $12,99 to $20.00 for grade-B Tahitian, and $19.99 on up to $40+ for grade-B Madagascar, with most Madagascar 10-packs priced in the lower $20's.

    This being my first experiment, I went to the cheap end, "Amazon's Choice," a $12.99 10-pack of Tahitian from Vanilla Bean Kings, with 1000+ reviews and a 4,5-star average rating, and hoped for the best. The beans have just gone into the vodka, so it will be a while yet before I know how good (or not) a choice this was.

    What is the difference in extract made with Madagascar, as opposed to Tahitian vanilla beans?

  • brownjoelle
    brownjoelle Posts: 23 ✭✭✭

    What an interesting history. This Christmas, our family is making our presents. I wanted to make artisan vanilla extract for the adults. Knowing this interesting back-story will make for a cool presentation of these gifts.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,519 admin
    edited October 2020

    @MaryRowe It is important to do your research on vanilla beans so that you get the best.

    Before the big disasters, I could buy the extract beans (probably B grade) at just under $.50 CDN/bean. Now it is $4.50/bean if I buy 1 lb. on sale.

    Tahitian is flowery, Ugandan...I don't remember what its unique qualities are, but it is slightly different. Of course Madagascar vanilla beans are known as the ultimate bean. Of course soil & specific climate will make subtle differences to each.

    Vanilla Food Company used to have a write up on each. You might be able to find the information & comparison elsewhere.

    What you want is fairly fresh stock. Ideally, your beans should be no more than 1 year old by the time they are used. Cheaper may indicate old beans.

    Here is a US supplier who offers beans from many different places, each with unique flavor profiles. I do not know their quality.

    This site, from what appears to be Madagascar, has really interesting (and some really important info on bean quality/dishonesty in the trade) information. I don't know specifically where their beans are sold. I suspect that a person would need to contact them to find out.

    This supplier ships to the US & within Canada and is aligned with top chefs. To give you an idea on price, 2 kg= 2.2 lb. When I ordered (from, I bought at least 1 lb & split the beans with others, to keep the costs/bean lower, also keeping in mind that it takes 6 beans/cup of vodka to make extract. A double extraction is, of course, 12 beans/cup.

    Here is a site that I remember others in the US talking about. There is really good information here & I believe that their beans are top quality.

    Knowledge in this case is very important.

    Happy reading!

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thank you for all these great sites! I know what I'll be doing this evening.....

    Yeah, I should have done my research before jumping into this, but I followed the link from one of Marjory's newsletters to the TGN article about making your own vanilla extract, then looked up a couple other articles on the topic. I got so excited about the idea I just had to try it NOW, and for better or worse, Amazon is at least fast. The description guaranteed these beans are from the most recent harvest, and though such guarantees aren't necessarily worth much, the reviewers all seemed to concur that the beans they received were fresh. So I figured $12.99 and a bottle of vodka wasn't too much of an investment in first experiments, and as I fooled around with that, I would read more. Between reading and experimenting, I'd decide how I wanted to do this for real.

    So that's where I am right now: two beans soaking in 8 oz. of vodka, 2 more in 8 oz. of brandy I already had for my Bach flower mixtures to see which I like better, and 6 beans more for further experiments with liquors, sugar and such. These beans did turn out to be of a pretty good size, with a good strong scent to them--fresh, as near as a newbie can tell. And that much playing around has me well hooked and ready to do some real research. So thanks again for these sites. They look very useful.