Pure Vanilla ExtractVanilla beans are expensive, retailing in some specialty shops for $2-3 each. The price of pure vanilla extract is also obviously high, but varies due to the quality of the beans used.
Pure vanilla extract should have no sugar added and will last forever, aging like fine liquor. Beware of cheap "pure" vanilla extract. If the bargain seems to be too good to be true, it is probably an adulterated extract.
In order to meet FDA standards, pure vanilla extract must contain 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon during extraction and 35 percent alcohol.
Imitation VanillaImitation vanilla is made from artificial flavorings, most of which come from wood byproducts and often contain chemicals.
Discerning palates find the imitation vanilla products to have a harsh quality with a bitter aftertaste. Twice as much imitation vanilla flavoring is required to match the strength of pure vanilla extract.
Vanilla FlavoringVanilla flavoring is usually a combination of imitation vanilla and pure vanilla extract.
More About Vanilla and Vanilla Recipes• Vanilla Selection and Storage
• Vanilla Beans
• Pure Vanilla Extract, Imitation Vanilla, and Vanilla Flavoring Differences
• Homemade Vanilla Extract and Cooking Tips
• Beware Adulterated Mexican Vanilla
• Vanilla History
• Vanilla Recipes
Vanilla Photo © 2007 Peggy Trowbridge Filippone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
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