Vanilla Extract– If you have ever taken the time, to research and read about the way Vanilla Beans are obtained, you will surely appreciate why it is regarded as such a magical ingredient from natures harvest and also why it is so expensive!
Today about 70 – 80% of the world’s vanilla comes from the islands of Madagascar.
Mexican vanilla beans are a thicker and darker bean that has a smooth, strong, rich fragrance and flavor. Some say they are the best.
Tahitian vanilla beans are the thickest of the three and almost black in color. They are very aromatic, with floral accents.
Vanilla Extract is produced by steeping the vanilla beans in an alcohol and water solution for several months, sometimes with sugar added. The FDA requires that pure vanilla extract contain 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of liquid and contain 35% alcohol.
The imitation vanilla extracts are made with synthetic vanilla.
To make your own vanilla extract, place 1 whole vanilla bean, cut in half lengthwise, into 3/4 cup (180 ml) of vodka in a mason jar and let steep for 6 months in a cool dark place before using.
1 whole vanilla bean = 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract and vice versa