Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pure Bourbon Vanilla Extract

Price: $4.99 (4 Oz)
Features: Ridiculous value.
Found in: Near baking supplies (not with the spices for some reason)

If you discover you are out of vanilla right when you want to bake something as I did (not sure when else that would be a real emergency), you better head to Trader Joe's! I challenge you, that's right - the gauntlet has been thrown, to find a better vanilla value anywhere. I doubt it can be done, even buying bulk and bringing your own container.

Purchasing vanilla extract in any other store is guaranteed to leave you with half as much vanilla for at least twice the price. Or, you might end up with some nasty artificial "vanilla" for about the same price. Both of these things are to be avoided, especially that last one!

Apparently this vanilla is Bourbon Vanilla because the French took some vanilla cuttings from Mexico to Ile de Bourbon in the 1800s. Wikipedia tells me Ile de Bourbon is east of Madagascar and is now Reunion. Huh, fun facts. In any case, this is some tasty extract!

I will admit that I purchased some Tahitian vanilla extract from TJ's several years ago and was not too impressed. That product isn't in my store anymore. The only other option was "alcohol-free" vanilla extract, which seems like a curious idea considering the mark of a good extract is generally a solid alcohol content. Good Eats taught me that vanilla has alcohol soluble flavor compounds. No alcohol in the production process means you are missing out. Maybe they can work around that somehow?

I've made two loaves of chocolate chip banana bread (delicious) and some whipped cream with this stuff so far. And there is still so much left...what to do next?

Now playing: Del Tha Funky Homosapien - What Is A Booty
via FoxyTunes


Benita said...

more whipped cream for your favorite goddess...

Heather said...

alcohol free vanilla is preferred when making raw desserts.