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CaliPoutine

Discount Vanilla Beans - Good Information

87 posts in this topic

I just ordered a 1/4lb of Tahitian vanilla beans from vanilla beans. I paid 26$, shipping included.

I was amazed at how cheap they are. I did some seaching around and I found another site that sells the same amount for 75$

I'm hoping this wont be a case of caveat emptor.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

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Looks like a damn good deal to me. Let me know if you're happy with what you get.

Not to change the subject, but one thing I never understood is the price differences between vanilla beans and vanilla bean paste. A bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon bean paste is 4 fluid ozs for $17. Since 1Tb of paste is equal to 1 bean, the 4oz bottle is equivalent to 8 vanilla beans. Yet NM sells 2 beans for like $13, or about $52 for the equivalent of a 4oz bottle of paste.


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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Looks like a damn good deal to me. Let me know if you're happy with what you get.

Not to change the subject, but one thing I never understood is the price differences between vanilla beans and vanilla bean paste. A bottle of Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon bean paste is 4 fluid ozs for $17. Since 1Tb of paste is equal to 1 bean, the 4oz bottle is equivalent to 8 vanilla beans. Yet NM sells 2 beans for like $13, or about $52 for the equivalent of a 4oz bottle of paste.

I bought that paste and Im not that thrilled with it. It just seems weirdly gummy to me( yeah, I know its a paste). I paid 13.99 for it at the spice house. They have wonderful spices too. I bought some fabulous smoked paprika and some grains of paradise.

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I use the Nielsen Massey paste all the time and it's not gummy at all. My bottle is more like a syrup. Can't explain the price difference though.


Edited by rickster (log)

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I just ordered a 1/4lb of Tahitian vanilla beans from vanilla beans. I paid 26$, shipping included.

I was amazed at how cheap they are.  I did some seaching around and I found another site that sells the same amount for 75$

I'm hoping this wont be a case of caveat emptor.

Any thoughts?

Thanks

I just ordered a 1/2 lb from them to try out. That is the cheapest that I have ever seen. My distributor is currently selling Tahitian beans for $89.95 for a 1/2 lb! I hope this is not too good to be true. Thanks for the website.

Chris

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Apparently the wholesale import price (the price paid by the importers to their suppliers in the originating countries) has started to drop, but this has only very slowly started to filter through to retail prices, depending on the quality of the beans.


"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I ordered 1/4# of beans from these folks last fall and they are very nice. I also got an ounce of saffron, and it's the best I've ever had. Great service, I put my order in on a Friday and had the product early the next week.

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Good to know! Thanks! I've been searching for a less expensive source.


Pamela Wilkinson

www.portlandfood.org

Life is a rush into the unknown. You can duck down and hope nothing hits you, or you can stand tall, show it your teeth and say "Dish it up, Baby, and don't skimp on the jalapeños."

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Just ordered 1/2 lb of Tahitian Vanilla from them. Keeping my fingers crossed on quality.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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I've tried there other extracts from specialty stores, not bad.

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I just placed my order for a quarter pound as well. It is almost uncanny that I have known about this site for a while and was thinking about posting for other eGullet members' opinions. I always thought it did look a little too good to be true, but we shall see! Free shipping is another great perk of the site!

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Thanks CaliPoutine, for this web site! I was gearing up to look for an affordable source for Tahitians, so excellent timing! I ordered a 1/4# to try them out. I'm in CA, so hoping for delivery by the end of the week.

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Thanks CaliPoutine, for this web site! I was gearing up to look for an affordable source for Tahitians, so excellent timing! I ordered a 1/4# to try them out. I'm in CA, so hoping for delivery by the end of the week.

Ok, well now Id like to know what you all prefer? The tahitian or the Mexican? I read that the Mexican is more of a true vanilla, but Tahitian is what Im most familar with.

What do you all think?

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I've dealt with them when I lived in SF and they were trustworthy. I get (real) Mexican vanilla from Patricia Rain at www.vanilla.com, which has a lovely aroma, like vanilla ice cream. Her site is really informative as well. I find Tahitian vanilla is a floral and a bit vague-tasting, whereas I much prefer to use Bourbon or Mexican. I find the Tahitian works well with tropical fruits, where you want the vanilla to be more subtle.

The price of vanilla, which went up something like 2000% last year, is dropping a lot this year, back to reasonable levels. So I suspect we'll see a revision of pricing.

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I've always found the tahitians more appealing than bourbons (just MHO). But David makes an interesting point about the different aromas, uses, and flavor pairings for the beans. Now I'm really interested in trying out the true Mexican vanilla beans. Hmmm...

BTW, it's nice to know that the price of beans is dropping back! I was starting to wonder if that was ever going to happen. Although now I'm curious as to what effect the tsunamis in SE Asia have had/will have on vanilla production (and thus, pricing) for the coming couple of years. Anyone have info/thoughts?

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Thanks CaliPoutine, for this web site! I was gearing up to look for an affordable source for Tahitians, so excellent timing! I ordered a 1/4# to try them out. I'm in CA, so hoping for delivery by the end of the week.

Ok, well now Id like to know what you all prefer? The tahitian or the Mexican? I read that the Mexican is more of a true vanilla, but Tahitian is what Im most familar with.

What do you all think?

Has anyone tried the Hawaiian vanilla grown on the Big Island? Jim Reddekopp and his family are the only commercial growers of vanilla in the US and the product is exceptional - it's also pricey. I find it more like the Mexican than the Tahitian. This is the vanilla all the best caliber chefs (well known and otherwise) here in the islands use. Here is a link to their website <a href="http://www.hawaiianvanilla.com/">Hawaiian Vanilla</a>.


"Eat it up, wear it out, make it do or do without." TMJ Jr. R.I.P.

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I make my own vanilla extract and use only the Bourbon for this purpose. The flavor is stronger and "cleaner" or rather has only the vanilla without the floral overtones fo the Tahitian, which I do not care for in the extract. It does have its place, particularly when the bean is infused in milk or cream.

I have tried the Hawaiian vanilla, a friend who lives there send me a couple of beans. It was quite good but in my estimation, did not warrant the increased price over the other types.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

My blog:Books,Cooks,Gadgets&Gardening

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I've heard Gale Gand recommend mixing Tahitian. Madagascar and Mexican beans when making your own infusion.

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Silly question here, what does "Planifolia" indicate?

Hayasaka, where do you live? If you're in greater Vancouver, you can ship to Point Roberts, drive over to pick it up and pay the duty/tax like you normally would. You would save on S/H and the customs brokerage fees that the shipping companies normally charge.

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Silly question here, what does "Planifolia" indicate?

Vanilla planifolia is a Linnean name for a species of vanilla plant. The term planifolia refers to the morphology of the plant leaves -- they are planar, hence planar foliage, hence planifolia. The two other species of Vanilla are V. pompona and V. tahitensis.


Edited by Patrick S (log)

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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I found some other interesting information on the different composition of vanilla beans. Apparently Indonesia beans are the most 'potent' in terms of vanillan content, which is by far the major flavor component in vanilla beans, but beans also differ with respect to other flavor/aromatic compounds.

    The fermented fruit contains about 2% vanillin, depending on provenience (México 1.75%, Sri Lanka 1.5%, Indonesia 2.75%); in vanilla pods of exceptionally good quality, the crystallized vanillin may be visible on the surface in the form of tiny white needles (called givre, the French word for “frost”).

Besides vanillin (85% of total volatiles), other important aroma components are p-hydroxybenzaldehyd (up to 9%) and p-hydroxybenzyl methyl ether (1%). Even trace components do significantly improve the flavour; about 130 more compounds have been identified in vanilla extract (phenoles, phenol ether, alcohols, carbonyl compounds, acids, ester, lactones, aliphatic and aromatic carbon hydrates and heterocyclic compounds). Two stereoisomeric vitispiranes (2,10,10-trimethyl-1,6- and methylidene-1-oxaspiro(4,5)dec-7-ene), although only occurring in traces, also influence the aroma.

The quite different fragrance of Tahiti vanilla is due to its additional contents of piperonal (heliotropin, 3,4-dioxymethylenbenzaldehyd) and diacetyl (butandione). Vanillin content is about 1.7%.

Vanilla planifolia


"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

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"How did you get the shipping included in the price...assuming you are getting it shipped to Canada"

Hi,

I buck the system and have it shipped to my PO box in Port Huron, MI. I wont declare it when I cross back because its food. Food is tax and duty free.

I usually go to Port Huron once a week and I often do grocery shopping there. Since I'm American, I still have money in US funds. Chicken is so incredibly cheap in MI so I usually bring back a lot of that.

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I prefer different Vanilla for different purposes. For ice cream I prefer the subtle floral tone of the Tahitian vanilla, the same goes for cream infusions like panna cotta or a creme anglais sauce.

Bourbon Vanilla for pies, tarts and cakes that has a dark rich taste like a pecan pie or a flourless chocolate cake.

Last year when using vanilla in savory dishes such as shrimp or cod, I use Mexican vanilla, which stands up to the savory overtones.


Ya-Roo Yang aka "Bond Girl"

The Adventures of Bond Girl

I don't ask for much, but whatever you do give me, make it of the highest quality.

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