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Trip December 22nd, 2010 06:21 PM

Vanilla...the best ever, or a tourist scam:):)
Ok, so I'm not a baker.:rolleyes: But, I did buy some Mexican vanilla when we were on the Epic in Cozumel. So, all you bakers out there, tell me...does it REALLY make a difference, & should my next cruise be a western, so I can stock up...?

I have 2 recipes,one is a cheese cake..will I jump for joy at the better taste difference,or should I book an eastern cruise next time?rofl

katlady December 22nd, 2010 06:42 PM

Do you have the vanilla bean or is it a vanilla extract? If you use the vanilla bean you will jump for joy. If it's just an extract you won't notice a big difference. Vanilla comes for orchids. In order to create the bean the orchid has to be hand pollinated in the morning. The flowers open in the morning if they are not pollinated they die at night and fall off. I have one of these orchids. Here is some pictures. Of the plant (it's a vine), the flower, and the seed pod that becomes the vanilla bean.

Trip December 22nd, 2010 06:55 PM

Well, Kat, looks like I will be doing the Eastern itinerary! I got the extract....explaining the pods to the TSA,would not be pretty I would bet:)

Aerogirl December 22nd, 2010 07:46 PM

Today about 70 - 80% of the world's vanilla comes from the islands of Madagascar and Reunion in the Indian Ocean where the plants were first introduced around 1840. The Madagascar or Madagascar-Bourbonvanilla beans are often referred to as "bourbon beans" because the French first planted the vine on the Isle de Bourbon (renamed R?/font>union). These beans have a smooth, rich, sweet flavor and are the thinnest of the vanilla beans grown.

The Mexican vanilla bean is a thicker and darker bean that has a smooth, strong, rich fragrance and flavor. Some say they are the best. The one problem is that some manufacturers of vanilla products in Mexico add coumarin, which is banned by the FDA because it can cause liver and kidney damage. So make sure you always buy Mexican vanilla products from a reputable supplier.

Tahitian vanilla beans are the thickest of the three and almost black in color. They are not as flavorful as the other two but are very aromatic, with complex floral aromas, which make them popular in making perfumes.

Donna December 22nd, 2010 08:41 PM

I did notice a difference in the vanilla that I bought in Cozumel years ago. It just had a different flavor, not sure if it was really any better or not...

Luanne Russo December 22nd, 2010 08:51 PM

I love buying it in Cozumel. To me it is much richer, but be careful of using to much. Many times I have had to cut back a little with Mexican ones.

skymaster December 23rd, 2010 08:06 AM

The lovely Mrs. Jones (Vita) bought some on our last trip Western, and she makes cheese cakes quite often. (WOW) She says it seems to have a richer flavor as well, and of course the price is considerably better. We won't book Western just for the vanilla, but when we're there, we'll no doubt pick up a bottle or two. :cool:


LisaK December 23rd, 2010 09:09 AM

yes Trip there is definately a difference between the vanilla you buy in Mexico and the vanilla you get at the local grocery store. The mexican vanilla has more flavor, so i have found that i use half the amount recommened in my recipes. It adds awesome flavor to french toast. I gave my bottle to a friend of mine who is a chef and and he was like this is the best stuff.

jacdenv24 December 23rd, 2010 04:08 PM

I find Mexican vanilla stronger so use less. But my main reason for buying is the price- it's at least 70% cheaper than what I have to pay in Ontario.

anniegb December 23rd, 2010 04:30 PM

The best vanilla is from Madagascar - I would not use an inferior grade.

Luanne Russo December 23rd, 2010 09:45 PM

Not sure your house smells good, and company is coming? Put Mex Vin in a small pot and simmer on the stove. Heaven!!

Snoozeman December 23rd, 2010 11:47 PM

good in pancakes too

LGriggs548 December 27th, 2010 06:47 AM

I think it is absolutely the best and can tell a difference. It's all I have used since my first cruise in 1977. I have several friends and family hooked on it too so have to buy lots each time I cruise. It is, as others have said a bit stronger so I use a tad less.

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