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I went and picked up a few groceries today. Vanilla Extract was on my list.
Preferably PURE as opposed to inferior ARTIFICIAL.


Pure Vanilla Extract = $13.97
Artificial Vanilla Extract = $3.99

Guess which one I came home with. sadly

The last authentic Pure Vanilla Extract I bought was in La Paz, Mexico about four years ago for about 40 pesos, seriously! It was amazing stuff! I wish now that I'd bought a gallon of it instead of the little bottle I opted for.

Oh holiday baking how you will suffer.


( 19 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2005 11:25 pm (UTC)
It's seriously insane, how much pure extract costs -- and dude, if you think vanilla's expensive? Try almond! My mom and stepdad went to the Bahamas a year and a half ago, and my mom brought me, my sister and herself each a *huge* bottle of pure vanilla extract (500ml). It'll be ages before I have to buy any again, and I'm grateful because OI with the expensive, yes.
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:21 am (UTC)
Zoiks!!! I'm afraid to ask about the almond extract! :;covets your 500ml::
Nov. 28th, 2005 11:35 pm (UTC)
When I ran out last year the price of the same large container I'd bought a few years prior went from $9.99 (for 750 ml or 1 litre, I can't remember which) to $32.99. Now that's some inflation! I bought the artificial too and every time I use it I can hear Martha Stewart's voice ragging about never use the crappy artificial stuff.
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:23 am (UTC)
*gasp!* WTF??!!?? Was there a extract shortage or something? An embargo none of us were told about?!?
Nov. 28th, 2005 11:37 pm (UTC)
Don't know if you have a Costco near you, or if yours carries the same stuff that mine does, but I just picked up a good-sized bottle of real pure vanilla extract there for $5! :)
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:25 am (UTC)
$5.00!! Wow! Great price.
There are Costco's here but you have to have a membership to shop there.
But sadly, I don't have one.
Nov. 28th, 2005 11:38 pm (UTC)
Ugh. I buy Madagascar Vanilla because I know it's about the only export that supports the island's economy, and it's soooo expensive. It's good thing I only use one small jar a year.
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:33 am (UTC)
Madagascar Vanilla? Wow, that is cool. AND it's an excellent reason to buy it.
Other than stumbling across 'authentic' vanilla in Mexico, I have NO IDEA what countries produce/export it. ::yeah, I'm stupid that way::

Where do you shop for it?
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:57 am (UTC)
You can find it in the grocery store sometimes, and always in places like Whole Foods or Trader Joes. If you don't have any stores like that around, William-Sonoma always has it in stock. A friend of mine was in Peace Corps in Madagascar and has guilted my into always buying it because their economy depends on vanilla.
Nov. 29th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
I'm going to keep an eye open for it. It's not much but I'm for supporting their economy.
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:03 am (UTC)
Dude, it's so easy to make--get three vanilla beans and a pint bottle of good, dark rum. Put the beans in the rum. Shake it a little every day for two weeks.

"For a strong extract, use a high proof of alcohol and scrape the seeds from the bean. For a weaker extract, use a lesser proof of alcohol and soak beans intact." (That last line and the general recipe were stolen from the thefrugalshopper.com.)

The vanilla beans are a little pricey, but on the other hand you end up with a pint of vanilla, enough to last years and years, and it's way yummy, better than storebought...
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:30 am (UTC)
Make it? It's that easy? ::blink:: You're kidding, right?

I'm very tempted to try it. I'll see if I can track down some beans - and how much they are (!!!). I *think* I might actually have some rum around here somewhere.

Oooo! This is promising. A pint... would be about ...500ml? Right?

Stay tuned. For either details or griping about the price of beans. :o)

Thanks for the suggestion. *muah*
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:47 am (UTC)
Recipe here (I should have posted the link earlier):


The beans aren't cheap, but you're making 10 or 15 times the amount of vanilla you would buy in a store, at least.
Nov. 29th, 2005 03:14 am (UTC)
Thank very much for the link! I've copied it and will attempt to make my own - if I can afford the beans. I'll let you know how it goes. :o)
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)
I had to buy vanilla beans for a recipe a couple of years ago. Two beans? $14.

Nov. 29th, 2005 12:34 am (UTC)
*boing!!!* Two Beans = FOURTEEN DOLLARS?!?!?!?!?!?

The end results better have tasted good!!! Ouch is right!

Nov. 30th, 2005 02:59 am (UTC)
Ahahaha, the worst part was, the recipe didn't turn out and I had to chuck the entire thing! At least it only used one of the beans (they only came in packages of two. I'd much rather have forked over $7 for just one!).

The only place around here I could even _find_ vanilla beans was Bulk Barn, and they were so dear they kept them behind the tills, presumably so people wouldn't steal them. I had to ask the cashier if they carried them, because I didn't see them anywhere, and she then produced them from her drawer.

I see your four JCs and raise you an AJ. ;)
Nov. 29th, 2005 12:49 pm (UTC)
I know how you feel! I want to work with pure vanilla but man so expensive!
Nov. 29th, 2005 08:24 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever used real vanilla or ever saw my mum use it -- I expect that price tag is why. O_o

Sounds to me like a fine excuse to head to sunny, warm Mexico. ;-)
( 19 comments — Leave a comment )