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Vanilla is an essential cooking ingredient for which there is no true substitute. The flavor of real vanilla is made up of over 250 organic components, which gives it great depth and complexity, compared to only one flavor component in artificial vanilla. There are three main types of vanilla: Madagascar Bourbon (named after the Bourbon islands not the liquor), Tahitian (fruity),and Mexican (spicy). Here is a list of premium vanilla extracts that I consider to be the very best.

Check out the Top Ten Vanilla Extract Brands

Photo courtesy of the Blue Cattle Truck Trading Company.


October 22, 2010 at 10:34 am
(1) Laura @ SweetSavoryPlanet says:

Thanks for the list. Very helpful. I use Nielsen and Penzey’s. I have purchase amazing vanillas in Mexico but have a hard time finding vanilla extracts without artificial additives, particularly Mexican vanilla.

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