I wanted to try a cupcake recipe using vanilla bean today and I went to the store (Safeway) and found ONE for $5.99, and if I shook the jar, it rattled like dried corn! Not helpful! Anyone found good vanilla beans, for good prices, and with good quality? Oh, and not charging a zillion dollars for shipping would be nice too... ugh.
Ebay. Lots of sellers with great beans at great prices. I make my own extract and that's where I get my beans from.
Also try the natural foods section of your grocery store. They are usually cheaper. I can't speak to how old they may be... that will depend on your store and the demand. Sometimes Costco has them.
You can order them from beanilla . com They are having a sale on madagascar beans 25 ct. for $25, shipping to where I live is about $4 plus change. The more you buy, the cheaper they are. If you vacuum pack them they will last for years.
You can also buy them from a ma z on. HTH
Amazon from JR Mushrooms.
Vanilla Products USA. Get a jar of paste while you're at it.
Yes, ebay is a great place to buy. I would never buy one from a grocery store, what a rip off, at my local store they were asking 7.99 for one bean.
Here in Seattle, we have a chain called QFC that has vanilla beans in the bulk food section that they sell by the pound. It takes a ton of vanilla beans to make a pound! (I think something like $67/lb.) They end up being next to nothing when you just buy a few, and they're wonderfully fresh.
So, try the bulk spices section in your grocery store.
In Canada the best place to get good fresh vanilla beans is at
www.vanillafoodcompany.ca I order from them all the time and have never been disappointed with the price or quality.
All of these are great. Thanks guys. After going through all of them, the best one was Indrivanilla, but the post is gone now... I'm on a large public network of about 70,000 people so I hope whoever it was didn't get their post deleted because we share an IP! Thanks for all your posts; I will be ordering me some vanilla beans from Indrivanilla tonight!