Vanilla Tutorial - Frequently Asked Questions

We receive many questions about vanilla, how to store vanilla, how to use vanilla, etc. We hope that we can help to answer some of those questions with these helpful hints.
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How do I use the vanilla bean? - Split the bean length-wise and scrape the caviar out of the middle. This is then added to your recipe. 1 vanilla bean can be substituted for 1 tsp of vanilla extract. For more information, go to the How to use Vanilla Beans page.

What do I do with the vanilla pod after I have split it and used it? - Let the pod dry for a couple of days and then put it in your sugar for extra flavor. Some like to tie then in cheesecloth as a vanilla potpourri. Basically don't throw out the pod until there is no aroma left.

How do I store vanilla? - Vanilla should be stored in a sealed container, like a jar or a Tupperware container. These containers should be put in a cool, dark place, like the pantry, but never in the refrigerator.

How long will the vanilla beans last? - Vanilla properly sealed and stored should last 6--9 months.

What do I do with vanilla beans that have dried out? - Vanilla beans that have become hard due to excessive moisture loss can be rehydrated by soaking them in warm water for several hours before use.

Why does vanilla extract have alcohol? - First, because the alcohol is what helps to extract the flavors from the vanilla bean. Secondly, because the FDA regulation stipulate that Pure Vanilla Extract has to be made using no less than a 35% alcohol solution.

How long can I store vanilla extract? - Vanilla extract, like fine wine, gets better with age. Most extract reaches its peak at around 2 years of age. So keeping extract for awhile is not a problem.

What is the difference between Madagascar, Bourbon, Mexican and Tahitian vanilla? - The biggest difference is in flavor profiles. Madagascar, Bourbon and Mexican are all the same species, but having been grown and cured in different climates and soil, they have similar but slightly differing profiles. They all have a basic fruity aroma and strong vanilla flavor. Tahitian beans are a different species and have a more earthly aroma and flavor.

How do I use Pure Ground Vanilla? - Pure Ground Vanilla is great in warm drinks. Since it is not an alcohol base, like extract, it will not evaporate in hot drinks, like coffee, teas and hot chocolate. It can substitute or augment vanilla extract in baking and cooking. > NEXT


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