Has the price of vanilla extract gone up in anyone else's area? The 8 ounce bottles of McCormick's Pure Vanilla Extract that I had been getting for about $10 at Sam's were $21 today!
Yes. The 32 ounce bottle of Neilsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla that I've always bought for 30 something dollars is now selling in the 80's and up.
just some paraphrased facts gleaned from "the vanilla story" by chat nielsen, jr.
typically five pounds of uncured vanilla beans -- pods really -- make one pound of dried vanilla beans
vanilla is a product of the orchid and each individual flower can only be pollinated on one part of one day only -- if it's missed -- that flower will not yield --
there's a bee in mexico that will pollinate the flowers but in the rest of the world they are only pollinated by hand -- the worker makes a puncture inside the flower -- by hand -- each flower on the certain part of the certain day -- i mean no calling in sick right? we ain't going to disney either --
a family of four can handle about an acre and a half of vanilla -- -- i mean figure how much time they spend walking those fields looking for the ones to pollinate -- because they're not all ready on the same day/time
vanilla beans are handled hundreds of times in the curing process which takes months where the pods are daily spread out in the sun and rolled up in blankets at night --
i find that fascinating -- thought i'd share some tidbits
It's always interesting to read about the products we use for baking and after reading about the increasing prices, makes me glad I make my own vanilla extract. It's amazing to read what goes in to pollinating and processing vanilla beans. You never take into consideration what actually goes into providing that product for you....you just go to the store and buy it off the shelf. I've really learned a lot about various products since getting deeper and deeper into baking.
and fwiw -- this booklet says that indonesian vanilla is not as painstakingly carefully harvested as madagascar vanilla because the indonesians pick the pods all at once rather than waiting and harvesting as each one ripens/matures -- just if you are in the market and you see a good price -- check the source -- and maybe they have changed their ways by now but there it is --
I was in a mennonite place called Muddy Ponds in Tennessee the other day and they had 11 oz of pure vanilla for 15 dollars. I bought it because of the high prices I have seen in the grocery stores. Still expensive but a little cheaper than grocery stores here in Tennessee. Since I only bake occasionally it will last for for quite a while.
the Madagascar vanilla sure sounds expensive but I bet it is good stuff. I have bought a small jar of that one before in Walmart but they don't always have that kind here in the sticks of Tennessee.
Yes, it has gone up like crazy!
At Costco it's 36.99$ for a 473ml bottle (which is about 16oz). Luckily I did a trip to Dominican Republic not too long ago and stocked up on tons of bottles and brought them back with me. SO much cheaper there.
I used to be able to buy the exact same bottle at Costco for 15$ about a year ago.
I live in the sticks of Tennessee and I order my Neilsen-Massey Madagascar Vanilla. I would like to check out the Mennonite's place. I'll Google Muddy Ponds :o)
I am such a lucky duck... My friend travels south a lot... Dominican... Mexico... etc...
She keeps bringing me back vanilla as a souvenir... I also got cocoa powder from her last trip...
I think she just wants me to bake more often for her... lol
I should give her a shopping list for next time...