Mexican Vanilla

Decorating By bncncnmn Updated 21 Aug 2012 , 8:12pm by BlakesCakes

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bncncnmn Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 9:20pm
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A friend bought me a huge bottle of Mexican vanilla and I was wondering if anyone has tried it? Is it the same as pure vanilla? Thanks icon_lol.gif

11 replies
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mommapaul3 Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:09pm
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I don't know if it's the same as pure vanilla, but it has a GREAT flavor. I use it just like regular vanilla. I actually prefer it. Thank your friend - that was a nice gift. That stuff is not cheap in the US. I'm actually trying to find it at a low price since I'm all out. The last bottle I actually bought in Mexico. Too bad I won't be going back anytime soon. Enjoy!

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lionladydi Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:13pm
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Very expensive item in the US. My girlfriend gave me a huge bottle of it and I didn't like it. I gave it to a friend and she acted like she would be indebted to me forever. icon_lol.gif She uses it in some special pound cake that she makes for Christmas.

To me it was much stronger than regular vanilla that we buy here.


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mmkwynne Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 10:31pm
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I actually use Madagascar Vanilla, and have read that you have to be careful of the suppliers of Mexican Vanilla and find a reputable brand. The Nielsen-Massey brand of vanilla say Pure and are really tasty!!

mommapaul3 - I found this website where you can get a 32oz. bottle of Mexican, Madagascar or Tahitian vanilla (Nielsen-Massey brand which I love) for great prices! It is the cheapest I've been able to find it! Before I started baking a lot, I would buy an 8oz bottle from Williams-Sonoma for $19. At this website my 32oz Madagascar bottle is only $23!!!! Hope this helps!!

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frostingfairy Posted 17 Oct 2007 , 11:22pm
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THe best vanilla beans come from Mexico and Madagascar. The differences owe to the differences in the soil, water, climate, etc... same as with cinnamon, same substance, but slight differences owing to where it's grown. Ok lecture over icon_biggrin.gif

I get great double strength vanilla from Penzey's Spices; it gives everything an extra vanilla-y kick.

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leily Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 12:09am
post #6 of 12
Originally Posted by bncncnmn

A friend bought me a huge bottle of Mexican vanilla and I was wondering if anyone has tried it? Is it the same as pure vanilla? Thanks icon_lol.gif

It all depends on the brand, there is a chemical that is legal to use in mexico that is banned in the united states.

The chemical is Cumarina. I have bought "la vencedora" and it does not contain this ingredient.

Please read through this topic about mexican vanilla that was posted quite awhile ago to learn more about the different kinds of Mexican vanilla and what to watch out for.

And here is just a little bit more information

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mommapaul3 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 12:26am
post #7 of 12

Thanks for the info, mmkwynne, I'll check that out. BTW the vanilla I bought in Mexico was the Vencedora brand and I think I paid about $20 for it, so I think I'm pretty safe. I was forwarned not to buy the cheapo stuff they were selling on the streets. Now I know why.

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MandyBs Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:44am
post #8 of 12

Our Walmarts here in Texas sell the 32 oz. Mexican vanilla (the safe type) for about $4.50 a bottle. It's all I use.

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mcalhoun Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 1:52am
post #9 of 12

I bought a 31.79 ounce bottle of La Vencedora at the San Antonio Mexican market for 7.50 this past week. I usually pick up a couple of bottles every time I am there. I keeps me and my sisters in vanilla.

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Luxe42 Posted 18 Oct 2007 , 2:41pm
post #10 of 12

I just researched this topic this week as well. My friend bought me a bottle of Dancy while in Mexico. But Dancy was on the FDA's naughty list for using Cumarin. Yet the bottle says no Cumarin...hmmm icon_confused.gif A preemptive strike on their part perhaps?

Does Mexico have an FDA or can they just write what they want on their labels?

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BuffySA Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 4:44pm
post #11 of 12

Mexican Vanilla is a different animal altogether. Madagascar vanilla orchids were imported from Mexico, but there weren't any bees in Madagascar to pollinate the blossoms, so they developed "hand pollination" methods to get the vanilla beans.

Mexican vanilla can either be from orchids or from a tree "vanillan" using the bark and extracting the flavors from that wood. Odd, but it makes for some tasty stuff. The blood thinning element contained in some 'vanillas' from Mexico is a byproduct of the extraction of the flavors from the wood. It isn't technically "added" as much as it can't be taken out. It is similar to medication Coumadin, used for blood thinning in heart patients, and Warfarin used in rat poison. Personally, I would be hesitant to use this item in a cake for someone with a blood disorder such as leukemia or hemophelia, but is there really enough of it to even affect them? There isn't enough research done on this, but since it is a prescribed drug and not labelled for human consumption in the US except in prescribed medicines, we probably won't know.

Beside that point, Mexican Vanilla has an awesome flavor, so I will keep using it.

if you want more info on how Vanilla is made, Alton Brown on Food Network did a great episode that you can probably Youtube.

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BlakesCakes Posted 21 Aug 2012 , 8:12pm
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I'm deeply uncomfortable with the idea of using something--for which there ARE food safe/FDA approved alternatives--just because it tastes good/looks good/the customer wants it/etc.

When I'm made aware of issues--like phthalates in fabric store vinyl vs. the food safe vinyl of The Mat--I change my practices accordingly.

The concept of having been "put on notice" can be an issue should someone actually have the negative reaction to a product found to contain a potentially harmful ingredient (coumarin).

I've tried my hand at making my own vanilla using vanilla beans, purchased in bulk from I've found that I can produce a gallon of excellent vanilla for about $15 using the beans and a gallon of cheap full strength vodka.


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