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Frequently Asked Questions
The answer has two important parts.
First, is quality. There is a huge variation in the way that vanilla extract is produced. Temperature, grade of vanilla bean used, quantity of vanilla beans used, grade of alcohol, type of alcohol, length of extraction and temperature of extraction all play a role in maximizing the flavor of vanilla extract. Producing a premium vanilla extract is a true science. Each of our extracts are proudly produced in the United States
Second, is the type of vanilla bean used. Each type of vanilla bean has a very unique flavor:
5 beans per 8 ounces alcohol.
This ratio is based on the FDA requirement for commercial production of single-fold vanilla extract. This ratio is the most important aspect of making homemade vanilla.
The "best" variety depends on your personal preference in flavor. Madagascar is the most popular type and Indian is a consistent favorite. Each type is slightly different:
We are often asked; "What is the best way to store vanilla beans and how long will they last?" Unlike the dried up and brittle vanilla beans that you might receive from your local grocery store, our vanilla is oily, pliable and very fresh. High inventory turnover means your vanilla will be as fresh as possible. Unlike the dried up overpriced vanilla beans in your local grocery store, our vanilla does not remain on shelves for long periods of time and we take extra steps to preserve the moisture and quality. By following our guidelines below, we can assure you that your vanilla will remain in excellent condition for a very long time:
First time cooking with whole vanilla beans? No problem! This is the best way to use vanilla in it's most pure and unrefined state. To use your new vanilla bean, simply grab your favorite cutting board and sharp knife. Cut each end off the vanilla bean. Next, slice the through the vanilla bean lengthwise. Do not be afraid to use some force here as vanilla beans can have a tough skin. Now that the bean is cut into halves it is time to remove the paste from inside the bean. Hold your knife perpendicular to the bean and scrape. It is that easy!
This is a very popular question for anyone who is new to using whole vanilla beans. Most stores or suppliers only carry one type of vanilla bean, thus the customer never has the opportunity to compare.
Vanilla bean quality is determined by moisture content, bean length and condition. Moisture Content is one of the most important aspects of high-grade vanilla. Grade A (Gourmet Grade) vanilla beans are extremely moist. Oils should be visible on the outside of the vanilla bean and the bean will leave a residue on your fingers after touching. Vanilla beans with high moisture content will be soft to the touch and highly flexible when bent. It is common to see the oils extend from the vanilla bean when packaged in vacuum sealed bags. This is a characteristic of extremely high quality vanilla.
The Beanilla Trading Company was created out of the frustration of not being able to obtain truly Grade A vanilla beans. Each package of vanilla beans is hand-packed by well-trained vanilla connoisseurs to ensure excellent quality of every vanilla bean.
This is a great question, especially considering how many types of vanilla exist. There are two main characteristics that determine the flavor, appearance, and aroma of a vanilla bean:
Quality is our finest ingredient. We are committed to providing you only the highest quality vanilla from around the world!
The Beanilla team
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