Types Of Vanilla

Baking By FairyCakeLuv Updated 7 Jul 2011 , 8:11pm by Narie

FairyCakeLuv Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 3:52pm
post #1 of 39

I have a friend who brought me some vanilla from Mexico. It is clear, in a plastic bottle and there is a sticker on it that says 'pure vanilla'. Does anyone know if this is different that vanilla extract? I wasn't sure how I should use it in my baking and frosting. If I should use it the same as the frosting or add more or less.
Thanks!

38 replies
AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:15pm
post #2 of 39

Eww. Gross. Throw it away. Go buy some at the grocery store for now, PURE vanilla. Now, go order some good vanilla beans, about 1/2 pound, and 3 bottles of vodka-750 ml bottles. Split bean, scrap seeds, and put it all (including empty bean pods) into the bottles. Store in cool dark place and shake once a week for 4 months. Maybe 3. Open. Smell. NOW you have real vanilla that nothing you have ever used compares to.

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:29pm
post #3 of 39

Seriously, you'll never buy vanilla again:

These beans:
http://www.vanillaproductsusa.com/servlet/the-Bourbon-Beans/Categories

Mixed with vodka and a little time turn into the purest most fragrant delicious vanilla extract ever.

Bluehue Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:30pm
post #4 of 39

Gross ???
Mexico is where Vanilla originated from - have a read.
I have used it for years here in Australia and it is just the smoothest and richest you will ever use..
Even tho i make my own.... no home batch can compare to this....no matter who makes it -

The Mexican Vanilla is award winning.
http://www.mexicanvanilla.com/


http://www.mexicanvanilla.com/pages/history-of-vanilla


http://www.mexicanvanilla.com/pages/traditional-vs-pure



If it is good enough for Martha - icon_wink.gif
Our Traditional Mexican Vanilla is a top pick of Traditional Home Magazines Cooking School, and was also featured on Martha Stewarts Cup Cake Show.


FairyCakeLuv - if it is a rich and strong smell - then use it sparingly -
It will be fine - as Vanilla has no enemies (iykwim) - thats why the Vanilla Pods/beans can be imported all over the world....with no quarantine issues.


Bluehue



Bluehue

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:32pm
post #5 of 39

Really? Clear vanilla? Didn't realize there was such a thing as good clear vanilla. Please correct me if I'm wrong, really.

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:34pm
post #6 of 39

Because I live 5 minutes from Mexico, and I know of the clear bottles of "vanilla", that she speaks of. icon_wink.gif

Bluehue Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:40pm
post #8 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Because I live 5 minutes from Mexico, and I know of the clear bottles of "vanilla", that she speaks of. icon_wink.gif





I live 28+ hours fying time from Mexico - and i know about it - and see it over here.
Not all Vanilla Extracts - Pure Vanilla has to be dark -

Just like Carrots - they used to be Purple back in the good ole days - but then they were propergated to Orange as *some* didn't like eating Purple Food.................Orange Carrot Snobs icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif


Bluehue

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:43pm
post #9 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluehue

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Because I live 5 minutes from Mexico, and I know of the clear bottles of "vanilla", that she speaks of. icon_wink.gif




I live 28+ hours fying time from Mexico - and i know about it - and see it over here.
Not all Vanilla Extracts - Pure Vanilla has to be dark -

Just like Carrots - they used to be Purple back in the good ole days - but then they were propergated to Orange as *some* didn't like eating Purple Food.................Orange Carrot Snobs icon_rolleyes.gificon_wink.gif


Bluehue


Oh I could eat purple carrots, that sounds good! icon_smile.gif But I stand my ground on clear vanilla.

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:44pm
post #10 of 39

And it's not strictly the color or lack thereof, it's the practically zero regulations on ingredients on anything from Mexico. There's plenty of good stuff from there, believe me. The glass bottled Coke? Best in the world, hands down.

coloradoflower Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:48pm
post #11 of 39

First I have to say Anothercaker you are my hero!!!! I have been looking for a good website to buy vanilla beans and all the ones I came across seemed really over priced. Thank you I am going to order some vanilla beans today!

Purple carrots are awesome icon_smile.gif Considering that I have some growing in garden along with orange carrots and purple potatoes icon_biggrin.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:51pm
post #12 of 39

I grow the funkiest oddly colored heirloom tomatoes in colors that just don't seem right, but they are fabulous! Pink potatoes, purple potatoes, you name it. Now I want a purple carrot! So anyways, you get bonus beans with your order as well from Vanilla Products. Stick to the Grade A Madagascar variety, When you slice the pack open, your hands are immediately gooey and the smell will knock you over. Pure heaven.

cheriej Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:55pm
post #13 of 39

Madagascar bourbon vanilla. And I'm actually going to Madagascar in Sept and I plan on bringing a bunch of this back with me from their vanilla coast.

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 4:59pm
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheriej

Madagascar bourbon vanilla. And I'm actually going to Madagascar in Sept and I plan on bringing a bunch of this back with me from their vanilla coast.


Where's the jealous emoticon? Cause I would totally put it here. icon_lol.gif

ShaunaCann Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 5:31pm
post #15 of 39

Can you make it with less vodka? What type of vodka do you normally use?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Eww. Gross. Throw it away. Go buy some at the grocery store for now, PURE vanilla. Now, go order some good vanilla beans, about 1/2 pound, and 3 bottles of vodka-750 ml bottles. Split bean, scrap seeds, and put it all (including empty bean pods) into the bottles. Store in cool dark place and shake once a week for 4 months. Maybe 3. Open. Smell. NOW you have real vanilla that nothing you have ever used compares to.


AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 5:40pm
post #16 of 39

You can follow this recipe:
http://www.vanillareview.com/make-vanilla-extract/

or this one:
http://www.kitchenproject.com/vanilla/MakeYourOwnVanillaExtract.htm

I generally use twice as much as called for, and I scrape real well, and then chop the empty pods, and throw those in as well. Mark your calendar the day you made it, and make a note on the folloowing months either a couple or a few weeks apart to remind you to shake it. I store it in a cool place that I walk by daily, and usually stop and shake it just to see how it's coming along. And I have to smell it too just cause I love the smell.

kakeladi Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:03pm
post #17 of 39

...........Vanilla is the second most expensive spice (after saffron) due to the extensive labor required to grow, harvest, and cure the vanilla beans..........

The above quote was copied from the 1st like posted.
No wonder we are all upset w/the prices. I had NO IDEA it was considered the 2nd most expensive spice but can now underatnd why icon_smile.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 6:08pm
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by kakeladi

...........Vanilla is the second most expensive spice (after saffron) due to the extensive labor required to grow, harvest, and cure the vanilla beans..........

The above quote was copied from the 1st like posted.
No wonder we are all upset w/the prices. I had NO IDEA it was considered the 2nd most expensive spice but can now underatnd why icon_smile.gif


Have you seen how much 1 or 2 dried up pathetic beans are in the little glass bottles at the supermarket? Holy crap it's crazy! And they are dried up and pathetic, for sure. You can make gallons of this stuff for truly little money in the grand scheme of things, and it will be better than anything you can get premade locally.

cakestyles Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:44pm
post #19 of 39

Sorry bluehue, I completely disagree with your claim that Mexican vanilla is the best out there. There are many areas in Mexico that "claim" to use seeds extracted from the vanilla bean but in fact some are made by using parts of a tree that could be toxic. There are numerous warnings and reports written on this very subject. Mexico, while a wonderful vacation destination, has very few if any health regulations....baking with this stuff is like playing Russian roulette.

Here's one example of an FDA warning that I just found by "googling" "dangers of Mexican vanilla". Just research that and see what you come up with. Here I copy and pasted this one for you all.

FDA Warns of Dangers of Mexican VanillaBy -- Robert Preidt

FRIDAY, Oct. 31 (HealthDay News) -- So-called Mexican "vanilla" is often made with a toxic substance called coumarin and shouldn't be bought by consumers, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned this week.

Coumarin is related to warfarin, which is found in some blood thinners. Eating foods with coumarin may be dangerous for people taking blood thinners, because the combination could increase their risk of bleeding.

Mexican vanilla -- which may smell and taste like real vanilla and is cheaper than the real thing -- is sold in Mexico and other Latin American countries and has started appearing in some U.S. stores and restaurants, the FDA said.

Pure vanilla is made
with the extract of beans from the vanilla plant. Mexican vanilla is frequently made with the extract of beans from the tonka tree, an entirely different plant that belongs to the pea family. Tonka bean extract contains coumarin. Since 1954, coumarin has been banned from all food products sold in the United States.

Consumers should be cautious when buying vanilla in Mexico and other Latin American countries, the FDA advised. Look for "vanilla bean" on the label's ingredient list. Don't buy the product if it says "tonka bean" or has a vague ingredient list or no list.


By the way a dead giveaway that vanilla is not "pure" is if it has no color at all or if it is clear. REAL vanilla is made from the beans that are almost black in color and when they're soaked in alcohol i.e. bourban or vodka (like good vanilla is) than it turns the alcohol brown.

Another fun fact about Mexico...I'm a frequent traveler there. It's a great place to buy sterling silver jewelry. HOWEVER beware...they are stamping the items 925 which in this country means sterling, but when you get home and have it appraised, guess what? It's not always sterling. One way to test it is to bring a magnet with you and if it is attracted to the magnet it's not real. Sterling won't attract the magnet.

Mexico can stamp silver or fake silver any way they want because there are no regulations...the same way they can label something "pure vanilla bean". Until they put some FDA regulations in place....I wouldn't trust ANY vanilla from Mexico. Sorry. icon_sad.gif

Valkstar Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:56pm
post #20 of 39

I got gorgeous Madagascar vanilla beans on eBay and they're making the most beautiful extract in the cupboard now. They were great value too.

cakestyles Posted 30 Jun 2011 , 7:57pm
post #21 of 39

Madagascar beans rock! And no worries of toxins either.

Here's a link to the place where I found the above article I copied here. There are hundreds of articles written about Mexican vanilla.

http://abcnews.go.com/Health/Healthday/story?id=6157423&page=1

scp1127 Posted 1 Jul 2011 , 2:48am
post #22 of 39

Has anyone used light and dark Dominican vanilla? I ordered some but I don't like the smell as much as others. Any opinions?

FairyCakeLuv Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 7:37pm
post #23 of 39

Thanks for all the great tips! I think I will be dumping the 99 cent bottle of vanilla! When I get home later, I will have to read the bottle and see what it says. I think there is even a sticker with a cartoon chicken on it. So weird!
I have heard of the Madagascar vanilla. I am interested in trying it. My mom has a vanilla bean waiting for me at her house to try as well. Slowly but surely I am working on trying all these new things. I work full time so it is hard to get all this baking in icon_sad.gif

FairyCakeLuv Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 7:39pm
post #24 of 39

I do ave one other question though, because everyone keeps saying to be wary of clear vanilla. Wilton has a clear vanilla. What's up with that then??

cakesnglass Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 7:57pm
post #25 of 39

Bought some Jamaican vanilla while on vacation- spicy rich flavor, can't use much very strong. Bought some mexican vanilla again on vacation- really smooth and rich. I like to try and visit groceries and small markets when on vacation, can't you tell ( LOL) you never know what you'll find.

myheartsdesire Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 7:59pm
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyCakeLuv

I do ave one other question though, because everyone keeps saying to be wary of clear vanilla. Wilton has a clear vanilla. What's up with that then??



It is simply fake vanilla flavoring. Made clear to make cakes and icing pure white. Not so sure it actually is any better though....Don't like fake vanilla thumbsdown.gif

FairyCakeLuv Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 8:06pm
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by myheartsdesire

Quote:
Originally Posted by FairyCakeLuv

I do ave one other question though, because everyone keeps saying to be wary of clear vanilla. Wilton has a clear vanilla. What's up with that then??


It is simply fake vanilla flavoring. Made clear to make cakes and icing pure white. Not so sure it actually is any better though....Don't like fake vanilla thumbsdown.gif




That could explain part of the reason why I don't like Wilton's frosting. I recently took one of their decorating classes. I thought the frosting was awful (my taste opinion). Could have been the shortening too.

Thanks for the info!

myheartsdesire Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 8:13pm
post #28 of 39

Yeah, I can't stand greasy shortening heavy BC either.

AnotherCaker Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 9:38pm
post #29 of 39

Ingredients in Wilton clear vanilla extract (which they have no business referring to as extract): water, alcohol, artifical flavors.

Ingredients in pure vanilla extract: vanilla bean, alcohol, water.

Narie Posted 5 Jul 2011 , 11:15pm
post #30 of 39

I love the flavor of Mexican vanilla, strong, smoky and spicy. That said -I no longer use it. Simple, I take Warfarin. The Tonka bean extract used in inexpensive Mexican vanilla contains coumarin which is a blood thinner. Did I use it before I developed my heart condition? yes. But it would be dangerous for me to use it now. Anyone taking Warfarin has to be careful even of dark leafy greens like spinach; and you definitely avoid cranberries or alcohol. So questionable Mexican vanilla is verboten. I can get or make safe Mexican vanilla, but it is not inexpensive.

Personally, I now use Vanilla paste. It is, I believe, Madagascar vanilla, not the same flavor profile as Mexican vanilla; but I believe it is much more flavorful than regular extracts.

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