Pure Vanilla. Pure Flavor.
Vanilla is a popular flavor around the world, so it's likely that you have it in your pantry. From whole beans to extracts and vanilla-infused sugars, there are many ways to add a touch of this classic flavor to your favorite dishes and baked goodies.
Vanilla is categorized based on where the vanilla beans were grown. We carry vanilla products from three regions. To learn more about the specific flavors of each, read All About Vanilla.
- Madagascar: The most common type with a rich, classic vanilla flavor.
- Mexico: Similar to vanilla from Madagascar, it has a mellow, smooth quality and a spicy, woody fragrance that pairs well with cinnamon and other spices.
- Tahiti: A more delicate flavor with aromatic and floral notes that shine on their own or paired with fruit.
What Is In Vanilla Extract?
By law, to be labeled a Pure Vanilla Extract, the liquid must be at least 30% alcohol and use only vanilla beans in the flavoring. But not all vanilla extracts are created equally. We are committed to carrying only the highest quality vanilla products.
What makes your vanilla extract different from others?
A single vanilla bean has about 300 unique flavoring components. However, many of these are delicate flavors that occur in trace amounts and must be carefully extracted to maintain their distinctive flavors.
High heat extraction methods, used by other companies to quickly mass produce extracts, can destroy the delicate flavor notes, resulting in a weak and somewhat bland taste. To supplement this flavor loss, sugar is often added.
A high quality vanilla extract begins with the beans. Only premium quality, sun cured vanilla beans are used to create our Pure Vanilla Extracts. Our vanilla extract is produced using a unique, environmentally friendly Cold Extraction Process to capture the full-bodied richness of the beans. This production process requires smaller batches, which takes more time, but the flavor it produces is much more concentrated and complex.
First, the beans are chopped using a specially designed machine that does not produce heat. Then, they are placed into custom extractors that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Damaging heat and pressure are never introduced into this process. This cold extraction process takes nearly a month to complete but ensures that the deep, rich flavor and delicate sweet, floral notes of each flavor compound are captured in our vanilla extracts. Like our other extracts, our Pure Vanilla Extracts maintain their premium flavor whether used in baking, freezing, or other applications.
We are proud to work with companies that are committed to social responsibility and promoting sustainable farming practices. Our vanilla partners have implemented initiatives to build wells in vanilla farming communities, increasing easy access to clean drinking water.
What's The Best Vanilla? (Different Types & How to Use Them)
You might have heard about "good vanilla" on a cooking show and wondered how you know if it's "good" or not. What that really means is that you should be purchasing Pure Vanilla rather than the cheap Imitation Vanilla your grandma might have used. But as far as variety of vanilla, there is no "good" or "bad" - it just depends on what you're looking for and how you're using it. Understanding the differences between extract, paste, beans, and powder will help you know what to use and when for the ultimate vanilla flavor.
As you might have learned from experience when you were a kid, vanilla extract smells divine but doesn't taste quite as good as it smells...at least not on its own. Where the flavor of vanilla extract really shines is in the finished product - after sugar, salt, and fat (like cream, butter, or egg yolks) have been added.
- Smell: Sweet and strong vanilla scent
- Taste: On its own, bitter alcohol base flavor. In finished dishes, robust vanilla flavor.
Vanilla paste incorporates the "flecks" of the vanilla bean on a syrupy sugar base. It does contain vanilla extract as an ingredient, so there is still a small amount of alcohol in it. The sugar in this product helps carry the vanilla flavor, so this product has that "classic" familiar flavor that we think of as being real vanilla. It can be used in the same way as vanilla extract but, because it has a sweetness on its own, can also shine in applications where the slightly bitter flavor of vanilla extract may be off-putting (like drinks and yogurt).
Vanilla powder is a good alternative for people who can't or don't want to use vanilla extract (vanilla extract legally must contain alcohol as the carrier for the flavor). While there is a moderate vanilla scent, tasting a small amount on its own won't provide much flavor. Like vanilla extract, the flavor really shines when you add sugar, salt, and fat (cream, butter, or egg yolks).
When added to drinks, the flavor tends to be subtle but does have that distinctive vanilla note. For this reason, vanilla powder really shouldn't be called "vanilla flavoring" as it is more of an ingredient in something than a strong taste on its own.
- Smell: Slightly sweet, moderate vanilla scent.
- Taste: Subtle vanilla flavor with no sweetness.
We infuse our Vanilla Bean Sugar with both vanilla extract and beans for a robust vanilla flavor in every granule. This can also be used in just about anything - from coffee and tea to cereal and sprinkled on berries or used in desserts - though the vanilla flavor will be slightly milder in baked goods compared to the more concentrated flavor of vanilla extract.
- Smell: Classic vanilla scent.
- Taste: Sweet, with mild/moderate vanilla flavor throughout.
The Best Vanilla Recipes
Go ahead and sprinkle some Vanilla Bean Sugar onto your berries or stir some Vanilla Bean Paste into your plain yogurt...but if you want a fun and flavorful cooking project, here's a bit of vanilla inspiration for you.
Golden Vanilla Chai Tea Cakes - (pictured at top) Chai-infused butter gives these adorable tea cakes a warm, sweet-spiced flavor and a chewy, blondie-like texture. Vanilla Bean Paste infuses classic flavor into both the cake and icing.
Instant Pot Vanilla Bean Cheesecake - Fabulously creamy, delicately flavored, and gorgeously freckled with vanilla bean, this surprisingly simple cheesecake checks all the boxes.
No-Churn Buttermilk Vanilla Ice Cream - No ice cream maker? No worries! Achieve smooth, scoopable ice cream with fruity and floral Tahitian vanilla and tangy buttermilk, all without a machine.
Double Vanilla Cupcakes - The double dose of vanilla in these classic treats comes from both Vanilla Bean Sugar and Pure Madagascar Vanilla Extract. For a simple glaze (and triple vanilla!), mix powdered sugar with a dash of Madagascar Vanilla Bean Paste, thin with water or milk, and dip the tops of the cupcakes.
Browse all Extracts and Baking Spices. Tell us about your favorite vanilla recipes below or tag us on Instagram @savoryspiceshop
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