Vanilla Beans . . . Different Types? Best Place To Purchase

Decorating By born2bake Updated 15 Nov 2009 , 11:01pm by Jayde

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born2bake Posted 4 Oct 2009 , 9:39pm
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I have a recipe to make my own vanilla but am not sure what type of bean to buy. I did a search and came up with Tahitian Vanilla Bean, Madagascar Vanilla beans. What's the difference? Is one stronger in flavor than another. I'm assuming with anything, the better the bean, the more the money. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

8 replies
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ziggytarheel Posted 4 Oct 2009 , 9:53pm
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I bought some off ebay last year and I was REALLY pleased with both the quality and the price. Got a ton of them that a friend and I split. Unfortunately, my saved link is dead and I don't remember who they were now. I do remember that I had read some good reviews of the seller and that their website explained the difference in the beans.

Snoop around eBay!

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cylstrial Posted 4 Oct 2009 , 10:01pm
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I have only been able to find Madagascar vanilla beans in my area. But I would love to try the Tahition ones. I have no idea what the difference is, but I'd love to know as well.

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Mensch Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 5:47am
post #4 of 9

Read all about vanilla here:

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pianocat Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 1:56pm
post #5 of 9

j.r.mushroom sells all kinds and are very reasonable. I have ordered many times as I too make my own vanilla and kahlua. I think they don't charge shipping on them at least when I ordered last time they did not.

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mightydragon663 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 2:03am
post #6 of 9

I get my vanilla beans oneline from the San Francisco Herb Company. Their prices are excellent. If you keep them wrapped in plastic wrap, you can keep them in the refrigerator or freezer, and they will stay soft.

I've made vanilla extract using vodka, but it doesn't smell like what you get in the store. I recently read that Bourbon is a better alcohol to use to make vanilla extract.

I don't put the whole bean in alcohol, I scrape out the insides for whatever recipe I'm making then put the "shells" in there.

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born2bake Posted 14 Nov 2009 , 1:10pm
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It's been a while signed I've logged and want to thank you all for your replies. I greatly appreciate them and will use your suggestions. Thank you! B2B

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cylstrial Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 10:50pm
post #8 of 9
Originally Posted by Mensch

Read all about vanilla here:

I went to the website you suggested and found all sorts of awesome recipes. Check out this pumpkin brownie recipe.

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Jayde Posted 15 Nov 2009 , 11:01pm
post #9 of 9

We have a specialty market here in St.Louis called Global Foods. They sell 3 vanilla beans for $4.50. Its the cheapest and best price that I have seen anywhere, online or not.

Check out a specialty market in your area, they might just suprise you with their variety of spices and extracts.

Edited to add:
You can also try Penzeys Spices. They have pretty good shipping prices and an awesome selection of vanilla beans and even some really awesome spices. They also have several locations around the US, there is one here in St.L too. Their spices are the freshest and the prices are not bad at all. I usually buy everything in the bags, and refill my jars here at home. The spices themselves are cheaper that way.

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