For those of you who make your own vanilla extract, a couple of questions:

1) From where do you purchase your vanilla beans and which type do you typically use?

2) Do you prefer to use rum or vodka?

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Verdigris
Verdigris January 1, 2011

I purchase my vanilla beans from a spice store in Wichita Kansas, The Spice Merchant. But the next time, I am going to try Ebay. There in an individual there who sells several varieties of beans, and they come highly reccommended on some of my food groups.

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Raquelita
Raquelita January 1, 2011

vodka (organic!) and vanilla beans i bought in India years ago that are still amazingly flavorful and moist...i don't know what i will do when i run out!

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Rhonda35
Rhonda35 January 1, 2011

I use vodka and I buy my vanilla beans from Penzeys - I like the quality of their goods.

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always040
always040 January 2, 2011

I buy mine in bulk on eBay. Seriously - a tip from Alton Brown.

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betteirene
betteirene January 2, 2011

beanilla.com

Beanilla brand or Madagascar beans

3/4 cup vodka, 1/4 cup bourbon, both 80 or higher proof. You want your vanilla to taste like vanilla, not rum or bourbon. I use a bit of bourbon just so I can say that I use "real bourbon vanilla," because real Bourbon vanilla doesn't actually contain bourbon--it's called that because the vanilla comes from the Bourbon Islands.

I have five bottles of vanilla in my cabinet right now, and each is used for a different reason: McCormick pure extract, Wilton Clear artificial vanilla, Nielsen Massey Madagascar bourbon, a bottle with a peeled-off label that a daughter-in-law's mother brought back from Mexico and my homemade, which I use mostly for whipped cream and real buttercream (I think it mutes the somewhat eggy taste of the buttercream).

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ShoeboxKitchen
ShoeboxKitchen January 4, 2011

Thanks, everyone! I just ordered 3 batches of 10 of 3 different types of beans from EBay and very excited to do some experimentation!! They were much cheaper than I imagined!

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