Bulk Vanilla Beans

@Happybaker I might give it a go. I’ve been using Muscavado (sp?) for my certain baking as of late. It adds a nice depth of flavor for oatmeal raisin cookies and French toast. My husband prefers it as his creme brûlée crust.

@attran99 Oh I’ve heard muscovado is fantastic to bake with! For me, I tried the Zulka as it was close and easy (at Superking) and cheap enough that I was willing to give it a blind try. It had such better flavor then “regular” brown sugar that I went back and bought pounds of it. (Plus I like that it’s minimally processed.)

And yes, it definitely makes my oatmeal cookies better!

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If you like cane flavor, try Steen’s syrup.

Robert -

I have tried Steens and love it. But years ago, the only way I could get it was mail order. And I had to order tons.

Is there a place in LA where I can buy it?

Many thanks!

I don’t know, but Steen’s now sells single cans and bottles through Amazon.

Thank you! I will check that out : )

Little Jewel sells steens cane syrup as well as another brand of cane syrup from the south.

@aaqjr - Oooo thank you!

That is VERY good to know and a handy reason/excuse to finally go and check out Little Jewel.

Thank you so much!

Late to the conversation, but I second robert’s recommendation. As a former pastry chef, Saffron Vanilla, a direct importer of beans, has always been my go to trusted resource for the best quality vanilla (and very good saffron too).

Mexican Vanilla is my preferred bean as it provides a deeper, more complex flavor profile with more bass notes than the standard Madagascar bean. The shortage from the cyclone in Madagascar among other reasons.

I store my beans in vanilla extract also from Vanilla Saffron and place the pods in a rotating container of sugar for always available vanilla sugar.

Sounds like you’re having a blast with it!


@chewchow Saffron is my next experiment. The 1/4 lb. from Amadeus was good enough for 4 - 8 oz. bottles of extract experiments. I’ve still got 2 more bottles I’m looking to experiment with.
The ice cream maker arrived today! Experiment: Vanilla Ice Cream is going down this weekend.

Woo! Let us know how the ice cream works out!

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@Happybaker It may take a few tries. I also started a vanilla sugar, but it may take some time before all of my DIY raw ingredients are ready to make an optimal ice cream. But it will be fun to try!

“Currently, vanilla is fetching upwards of $600 per kilo—about $60 more than the price of precious silver. The cost of vanilla is about 10 times what it used to cost just a few years ago.Mar 30, 2018”

There’s a Worldwide Vanilla Shortage Due to Poor Crops in …


Yep. Global shortages due to lots of reasons. And it’s been going on for several years.

Has anyone tried “substituting” tonka beans for vanilla? Wanderlust creamery uses tonka bean for its “vanilla.” Sort of.

Anyways, anyone given tonka a try?

I actually prefer just to make tonka ice cream. To me tonka reminds me Werther’s Original candies. A big weakness of mine.

Oh, and I’m sure you know, tonka is illegal in the U.S. Just ask Chef Achatz.

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Yeah I just read all about that! Bananas!

Anyways, I’ve been knocking back absinthe since before the FDA came around. So what’s a little coumarin anyways. I’ll store the beans right next to my homemade apricot kernel extract.

Interesting note on the flavor! That right there has me selecting “buy now.”

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If you make tonka ice cream, top it with blackstrap molasses. Heaven.

Lavender ice cream tastes vanilla-ish to me.

Really? I can’t say I’ve experienced that flavor in lavender. Maybe I have a dull palate.

I’ve had tonka bean ice cream at one shop, and thought it was too lightly flavored for me to make much in the way of a judgment. The ice cream was in the family of vanilla flavor though.

Just thought I’d explore tonka before re-upping on some now exorbitantly priced vanilla beans. Gone are the days of buying half a pound of high quality vanilla beans via eBay just to play around with.

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My palate thinks anything lavender or anything in the floral family tastes like soap. Tried lots of iterations from different places…it’s rare if I can find a product/item that I can stomach. The aroma and taste is way too strong.