Posts tagged ‘vanilla’

Vanilla is an Addictive Stimulant

By Chad Upton | Editor

Vanilla is often associated with plain, boring and ordinary; however, vanilla is anything but vanilla.

Now, it’s hardly the kind of thing you’d find shady characters dealing on a dark street corner. In fact, it’s not the kind of thing you’d likely find anywhere — I mean, good luck finding Grade A Tahitian Vanilla Beans in most cities. If you do find them, you’re looking at $5 or more for a single bean.

vanilla bean

Beans of such high quality are typically sought by epicureans, but there’s more to vanilla than its taste. (more…)

December 12, 2012 at 2:00 am 5 comments

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.

Now, when you buy something labeled “pure”, you expect it to match the definition of pure, “unmodified by an admixture; simple or homogeneous.” But, that’s not what you get with pure vanilla extract.

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

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Sources: dictionary.com, wikipedia, FDA, Arizona Vanilla

Photo: Jocelyn | McAuliflower (cc)

April 23, 2010 at 12:01 am Leave a comment


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