Pure Vanilla Extract is 35% Alcohol
I made vanilla crème brulée a few weeks ago and I used a lot of pure vanilla extract, almost twice the amount the recipe suggested. I did a Grand Marnier flambé on top and although it tasted great, the best part was the excuse to buy a blowtorch.
In the United States, the FDA requires Pure Vanilla Extract to contain alcohol if it’s going to be called “pure.” Specifically, it must contain at least 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla bean per gallon.
It turns out this is not a rip off, alcohol actually helps extract the flavor from the vanilla beans. Not only that, vanilla extract gets better with age, maturing in about 2 years.
Alcohol free versions are available, but will not be labeled as “pure.”
Broken Secrets | Written By: Chad Upton
Photo: Jocelyn | McAuliflower (cc)