Food & Drink

Where to buy pure vanilla extract?

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  • Jul 16th, 2018 10:15 am
[OP]
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Feb 14, 2012
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London

Where to buy pure vanilla extract?

I'm looking for recommendations on where to buy the bigger bottles of vanilla extract. Costco has 474ml for about $30. I just used my last bottle and don't remember it being so expensive! Any recommendations is appreciated.
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Oct 7, 2007
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I used to buy vanilla all the time and then I learned that you can make it yourself. You buy the vanilla beans from the grocery store (they are often sold in a long tube) and then you marinate them in a low-flavoured alcohol like vodka for some period of time. The benefits of this are that you end up with pure vanilla extract without all of the additives. If you read the label of the last vanilla you bought, you will most likely see a bunch of additives in the ingredient list. Just google how to make your own vanilla for the directions but it is easy and much better quality than store-bought vanilla.
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May 28, 2012
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Saskatoon
^That's what I've been doing but it takes a while to get a finished product. I bought vanilla beans at Costco when they had it, ten nice sized beans for $19.99. The beans can be used for a long time, you only need to refill with more vodka.

I looked into making my own when the Kirkland product climbed to $21, now that it's $29.99...I can't see me ever buying it again.
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Sep 16, 2004
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Was wondering if it was a different product at Costco I saw at this price but I remember paying much less(possibly closer to $10).
A vanilla bean shortage on Madagascar it seems.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/vanilla-bea ... us-prices/

I don't use it much though so that bottle is gonna last quite a while.
I use artificial mixed essence more with vanilla,pear and almond essence all mixed together.
Winners does have some in the food section. Bought the Nielsen Massey brand once but they don't always have it.
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Oct 7, 2007
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Mars2012 wrote: ^That's what I've been doing but it takes a while to get a finished product. I bought vanilla beans at Costco when they had it, ten nice sized beans for $19.99. The beans can be used for a long time, you only need to refill with more vodka.

I looked into making my own when the Kirkland product climbed to $21, now that it's $29.99...I can't see me ever buying it again.
I was surprised to see all the junk additives that are in the ingredients list. This really turned me off and made me think that making my own was much better. Good deal on the beans at Costco.
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Mar 31, 2017
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The president choice vanilla extract is pretty good. I don't think I saw anything artificial in that. Might not be a desirable price for the OP though.
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May 28, 2012
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Saskatoon
choclover wrote: I was surprised to see all the junk additives that are in the ingredients list. This really turned me off and made me think that making my own was much better. Good deal on the beans at Costco.
I don't think they are in stock at the present time, I bought the one package of ten beans about six months ago. You can get vanilla beans elsewhere but the value is a lot more for the Costco product because they are good sized beans and you get a larger number of beans in a package. Hopefully they bring them back soon.
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Nov 10, 2015
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If you have friends visiting Mexico, have them bring back a litre or two. That's what we do when we're not visiting Mexico.
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poleman wrote: If you have friends visiting Mexico, have them bring back a litre or two. That's what we do when we're not visiting Mexico.
A lot of people seem to like it, but I've never liked the vanilla from Mexico. Has a weird cinnamon type taste to me. My mom always brought back big bottles of it and I never could stand the strange flavour.
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We have the dark vanilla and the clear vanilla left over from our last trip.

But this thread got me thinking about the alcohol content of vanilla. The bottles from Mexico don't show the alcohol content, which is 35% or more.
So how would customs handle that? If the guy is somewhat knowledgeable about vanilla he'll know about the alcohol content of it. Does he determine it as part of the alcohol you may be brining back, or because it's not really considered an "alcohol beverage", does he ignore it?
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Oct 27, 2009
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Not all major grocery stores carry pure vanilla extract bottles in sizes bigger than the usual 30ml size. Sobeys or Bulk Barn may and try Loblaws/RCSS/Fortinos too in their baking needs aisles.
2021-Be more colourful and generous.😎
[OP]
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Feb 14, 2012
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I ended up buying the pure vanilla extract from Costco. $30 for a 434ml bottle. I like making a lot of things that use it so hope it's worth it! Maybe time time in the future I will consider making my own.
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Sep 1, 2005
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There was an article or something that discussed when to use real extract vs artificial. You guys should look it up... Sometimes it doesn't pay to use the expensive stuff.
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Apr 19, 2015
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Vanilla is now $38.99 at Costco in Vancouver and it isn't as fragrant as the last bottle I bought a few years ago for $13. :( I hope someone gives a heads up when Costco stocks the vanilla beans. It can't hurt to try making one's own when the store bought stuff isn't as good as it used to be.
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PC has different types of vanilla extract in a bottle, including from Madagascar vanilla beans extract. I wonder what the difference is.
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Jun 18, 2017
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Most of the Madagascar farms claim they are organic and fair trade and since it's such a small pool of producers that kind of thing is a bit easier to control. Vanilla is super labour intensive to grow, and water intensive as well so it doesn't surprise me it's starting to demand a premium, damaged crops or no. Hope it doesn't go the way of quinoa where the people who produce it can't even afford to buy it!
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Sep 25, 2006
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merrygold wrote: Vanilla is now $38.99 at Costco in Vancouver and it isn't as fragrant as the last bottle I bought a few years ago for $13. :( I hope someone gives a heads up when Costco stocks the vanilla beans. It can't hurt to try making one's own when the store bought stuff isn't as good as it used to be.
Yes! I just bought a bottle for that price and couldn't believe it, the price was missing from the shelf and I remembered paying about $13 for it the last time.... I have not opened the new bottle yet to compare, my wife has threatened to take it back it was so expensive.....
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Nov 4, 2006
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Costco Business Center has imitation vanilla extract 3.78litres for $11.89
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