Vanilla beans are the fruit of an orchid plant called (ready for this?) ... Vanilla. Surprising, right? The beans are picked when they are green and then allowed to cure naturally in the sun for several months. Very slowly and under watchful eyes, the beans are dried and conditioned until the pods slowly change color to dark browns, reds, and (best of all) black colors. The pods begin to curl and the caviar - the tiny black seeds within - plump and help hold the beans' shape. It's a long process that takes more than a year for a vanilla bean to be ready for market. At the end of it all, the beans are graded, according to color and moisture content. We only buy the finest, premium beans.
We only buy vanilla beans from small, sustainable farms within the countries of origin. Vanilla can only be grown within a small band around the equator and the flavor of vanilla beans is greatly impacted by the soil and weather in each country of origin, much like a wine grape or coffee bean. We always buy organic beans when we can find them.
Unlike the grocery store vanilla extracts who concoct their vanillas in an industrial workshop, we make vanilla extract the old-fashioned way. The bean in your bottle has been hard at work, slowly creating the fantastic flavors inside. It's a process that can't be rushed, but the results are amazing! Since the vanilla beans we use have a high moisture content, we split the beans and expose some of the caviar in their pods. As the bean sits in the bottle, it slowly infuses its oily moisture, creating simply exceptional vanilla extracts!
By the time you finish your extract, the vanilla bean that you'll find in your bottle has just about exhausted its usefulness for making extract. But there's still plenty you can do with it!
You can also scrape the caviar from the pod and mix it into whipped cream or steep the bean in your custard base for creme brûlée, ice cream, or pastry cream. But one of our favorite things to do is take that bean and make some vanilla sugar. It's easy ! Just put 2 cups of sugar in a small container. Add your vanilla bean(s) to the sugar. Cover and let the bean infuse with the sugar. Mix every so often and in a few days, it's ready to use!
All vanilla extract is made using alcohol with an ABV (alcohol by volume) of at least 35%. We choose premium spirits that have been distilled more times and result in a natural smooth flavor. Each spirit lends its own flavors that bring out the best in each variety of vanilla beans. We craft our vanilla extracts by choosing the very best bean and spirit combinations, extracts you probably never even imagined. Grocery store brands use industrial alcohols and minced vanilla parts that are watered down and pressure-infused to meet the legal definition of vanilla extract.
Single Origin: This is our flagship line, featuring bottles of single-origin vanilla beans, extracted in a variety of premium spirits.
Large Bottle: We get it. Some people bake a lot and this is our love letter to them, our Original Baker’s Blend. It's a combination of beans that make a perfect, every day vanilla extract that will work for every recipe.
Drops: These 2-ounce bottles that we call Vanilla Drops are premium vanilla extract with a dropper lid for easy use in coffee, tea, yogurt bowls, oatmeal, smoothies, shakes or cocktails. The Drops do not contain a bean in their bottles.
To give you a hint to the flavors that make up our many varietal combinations, please look at this list:
Tonga- bold flavor, sweet, can pair with stronger flavors, like chocolate
Uganda - high vanillin content, earthy, mild
Mexican - smooth, creamy with a hint of spice
Tahitian - floral, fruity, slightly spicy
Tanzania - sassafras, fruity
Madagascar - creamy, sweet, high vanillin content
Indonesian - sweet and creamy that finish with unique earthy/woody undertones
Cane Rum - mellow sweetness
Kentucky Bourbon - deep caramel, a tough of sweetness, vanilla notes
Apple Brandy - fruity, rich
Orange Spirit - citrus, bright flavor
Vodka - bright flavor, smooth, neutral
Spiced Rum - mellow sweetness, warm spices (cinnamon, cardamom, clove)
Ginger Spirits - a spicy brew
We only use premium-grade vanilla beans with high moisture content in our extracts. Following a time-tested process, they beans have been slowly cured in the sun, but in a way that guarantees a supple and oily, plump bean that's rich in vanillin, the key to strong vanilla flavor. We then pair each of these unique, regional beans with premium spirits for incredible flavors that will give all your recipes a superb taste, which you can't get anywhere else.
Grocery store brands tend to use extract-grade bean parts that are pressure infusedwith alcohol and then watered-back to the correct legal percentage to meet the definition of vanilla extract. The bean bits are filtered out before mass bottling.
Our Single-Origin and Large bottle vanilla extracts contain at least one vanilla bean in each bottle, which continues to infuse as it sits in your pantry. You can use the bean in cooking or baking when the vanilla extract has been fully enjoyed.
Yes, start by using the exact amount called for in your recipe. This will give you an idea of the flavor level our vanillas bring. Once you've made a few recipes, you can adjust to your preference of flavor. (We often add a bit more than a recipe calls for!)
Of course not!
We are proud to offer a wide variety of flavors in our vanilla extract, but that's where the fun is -- experiment and find the varieties that work best for you. These unique flavor profiles are created by lots of testing to find the perfect combination of premium vanilla beans from around the globe and top-shelf spirits. The result are some absolutely wonderful and exceptional vanilla extracts. To help you choose, we suggest using our Flavor Finder to identify the notes and subtleties that will give your recipes that "extra something."
The type of Vain vanilla you choose for a recipe depends largely on the spirit used for extraction.
Vodka - While often thought of as a neutral spirit, our combinations allow floral notes to shine through, and give a splendid flavor to recipes like whipped cream, cheesecake, custards, and meringue.
Bourbon - Bourbon is often thought of having vanilla notes to begin with, so when we extract in the American whiskey, the flavor only gets BIGGER! With caramel tones and one of smoothest vanilla deliveries, these extracts are perfect for pecan pie, banana bread, pound cake, or blondie recipes.
Cane Rum - Rum takes us away to Caribbean island beaches, sandy shoes, and the most casual, relaxing days. Our Rum extracts feature a subtle sweetness, and are sublime for recipes like pound cake, cookies, and just about any chocolate dessert.
Orange Spirits - With a refreshing hint of citrus, these extracts have a wonderful zest that's just right, any time of year. We find that Orange Spirits work best for lighter fare like a citrus vinaigrette, orange ricotta poundcake, or the crowning finish when making citrus-based cocktails.
Apple Brandy - A wonderful choice for autumn -- or when you're in an autumnal mood! These extracts have rich fruit accents, and are perfect to dress up your iced tea or give some pop to desserts such as apple pie, cobbler, berry compote or applesauce.
Spiced Rum - We love this one in our hot chocolate (and a close seat to a campfire)! Spiced rum offers warm spices, and is foolproof for recipes like gingerbread, chai latte, pumpkin bread or snickerdoodles.
You can purchase them on our web site or at a number of fine retail stores around the United States. Click here for a list of retailers.
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Unfortunately, no. Because we sell food products, all sales are final. However, we understand that once in a great while, products may be damaged during transit. Please contact us at email@example.com if your products don’t arrive in great condition.