Can You Buy Vanilla Beans At The Grocery Store?

Vanilla beans are one of the most expensive spices on Earth, rivaling saffron in price. That’s because just a little goes a long way to produce that rich, velvety flavor that makes vanilla so popular for both cooking and baking. So, can you buy vanilla beans at the grocery store? Well, yes and no.

While you can generally find dried beans there for an average price of around $5 per bean (which is more affordable than buying them whole), what you want is very different from what they have to offer. You’ll know if you get home with them that they are not of high quality by seeing how old the pods are or how brittle they are when you shake them in their container.

Unless you have a good grocery store, you’ll likely not find the best vanilla beans right at your fingertips. Instead, buy them online. Here are some vanilla bean sources:

• Beanilla – Get the best quality beans here! They’re available in bulk and can be shipped to most major countries around the world.

• ChefShop – Wholesale vanilla beans from Europe! They’ll deliver bags of beans or individual pods to your doorstep at a discount price!

• The Vanilla Company – What I prefer for my high-quality vanilla extract, as well as an excellent source for all things related to vanilla including premium beans.

• Spice Barn – The site I used to buy from when I first started making my own extract, you can find high-quality beans here as well.

• Vanilla Extract Store – An excellent source for extract and vanilla sugar.

No matter where you choose to get your premium organic vanilla beans, be sure you’re getting them either in pods or in beans that are pliable, dark and richly fragrant. Look for a vanilla pod or bean that is dark brown in color with a strong sweet scent. You’ll know whether it is a good bean or not by the way it folds with a touch of pressure.

One warning: you should use your nose as well as your eyes to make sure you’re getting quality beans. You may have to taste a bean in your hand before you decide if it is really what you want.

Your vanilla extract will be better if the beans are dark brown and pliable, but they don’t have to be so old that they are falling apart or so dry that the pod splits when you pick them out of the container. If your beans are too old, then there’s more moisture inside which makes for a looser extraction and less flavor. So…

What you bought were probably something very cheap, possibly from Mexico. Some of them are as old as six months but may only be three or four in the pod. Since they’re almost dead and don’t smell like much, you can probably skip them.

All the other beans will be great. They will smell like vanilla and will have a lovely purple-brown color to them although some might have a tinge of green to them. What you have to do is make sure that the pods are pliable.

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Pods will either be very dry (very bad), a little moist (good) or very moist (great). They will feel dry and brittle if they are too old and the inside can crumble when you rub them together. They will feel soft but not mushy if they are too wet and the inside may be greenish in color. The best pods will be dark brown, pliable and sweet smelling.

This question comes from a person who has bought vanilla beans from Mexico before. It was not stated how long ago these beans were purchased, but it sounds like they’re over a few months old…

Whole Foods – Whole Foods may have its own store brand of vanilla beans. If not, you’ll find spice jars of vanilla beans in the seasoning aisle. Your Local Health Food Store – You could possibly get bulk vanilla beans at a health food store, but if not, you can probably get packaged vanilla beans.

In this manner, can you buy vanilla beans at Whole Foods?

Vanilla Beans In the baking aisle Trader Joe’s is now selling two plump vanilla beans for just $3.99—it’s a full $4 less than what they go for at Ralph’s or Whole Foods.

Also Know, can you buy vanilla beans? You can get vanilla beans in bulk through the internet for far less money, and have plenty for baking. It’s probably not worth buying beans purely to make your own extract; buy what you need to bake with and then reuse them in a bottle of alcohol for extract you can use or give away as holiday gifts.

In respect to this, can I buy vanilla beans at Walmart?

McCormick Gourmet Vanilla Beans, 2 Beans – Walmart.com.

Does fresh market sell vanilla beans?

The Fresh Market Pure Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Paste We love that it’s flecked with real vanilla bean seeds, which adds a subtle, sweet suggestion of vanilla flavor to your baked goods. Subtle vanilla flavor is the perfect complement to rich, deep chocolate.

First, check the spice aisle (or baking aisle) for whole vanilla beans. They may be in the same spot as the herbs and spices or on a shelf nearby. If you don’t see bottled or packaged vanilla beans in the spice aisle, check the bulk area next. Grocery stores sometimes offer vanilla beans by the gram instead.

If you’re having trouble finding vanilla beans, check our store guide below. These places are known to stock them…


Amazon – There are tons of vendors on Amazon selling vanilla beans. Prices vary greatly, so look around for deals. Usually, you can find the best deals when you buy in bulk.

Walmart – Walmart sells Great Value Organic Vanilla Bean in the spice aisle. You can also pick up Rodelle Gourmet Vanilla Beans and other brands. If you’re not sure what’s available at the Walmart in your area, check the website’s store locator.

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Whole Foods – Whole Foods may have its own store brand of vanilla beans. If not, you’ll find spice jars of vanilla beans in the seasoning aisle.

Your Local Health Food Store – You could possibly get bulk vanilla beans at a health food store, but if not, you can probably get packaged vanilla beans.

Safeway – Safeway carries vanilla beans from brands like McCormick, Lafaza and Simply Organic.

Trader Joe’s – Trader Joe’s has sold vanilla beans in the past and may still currently have them. Availability may be dependent on location.

Kroger – Stop in at Kroger for McCormick, Simply Organic or Spicely vanilla beans.

Publix – Publix carries Spice Islands Bourbon Vanilla Bean as well as a few other brands.

Wegmans – Wegmans stores sell Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Beans.

Using vanilla bean paste in place of vanilla extract from the store will make your baked treats taste gourmet. The vanilla flavor is so rich that you’ll wonder how you got along without it before.

If you’ve never tried vegan vanilla ice cream crafted with vanilla beans, it’s a whole new experience. The potent flavor of the vanilla bean is truly luxurious. It’ll also compliment any flavor combination with fruits, spices, herbs and chocolate.

If you usually add a splash of vanilla extract to your granola, try vanilla beans instead. Powderize them in a spice grinder or coffee grinder so that they’re fully incorporated for an even, robust flavor. Tip: Any breakfast or baked good can be made with vanilla bean powder or paste.

Does Trader Joe’s sell vanilla bean paste?

Vanilla bean paste is sold at specialty cooking stores. Many of you commented that Trader Joe’s sells cheap vanilla bean paste.

Does Costco sell vanilla?

THE BEST vanilla beans on the market, they are fresh, plump and big not like in the ones sold in the supermarkets, 3 inch dried out overpriced beans. The packaging says KIRKLAND, the Costco lable and as with anything Costco sells these vanilla beans did not disappoint.

How much is 1 vanilla bean?

As far as conversions go, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract is equal to one 2-inch piece of vanilla bean, so 1 typical vanilla bean will equal 3 teaspoons extract.

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Is there a substitute for vanilla bean paste?

To replace vanilla bean paste in a recipe: Use equal amounts of of vanilla extract. OR – Use one whole vanilla bean (steeped in cooking liquid) to replace 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste. OR – Use 1 tablespoon of vanilla powder to replace 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste.

How much is a pound of vanilla beans?

A shortage there has helped drive up the cost of vanilla beans from about $11 per pound in 2011 to $193 by the end of 2016.

How long do vanilla beans last in vodka?

Let the vanilla beans infuse the vodka for as little as 8 weeks, but for optimal flavor, wait at least 6-12 months before using.

Is vanilla bean paste better than vanilla extract?

Vanilla bean paste is like an extract, only thicker, more of a maple syrup consistency. Use the same amount as you would of vanilla extract. Or, if you have a recipe that calls for a vanilla bean pod, substitute one tablespoon.

What is the best vanilla bean?

What is the best type of vanilla bean? Madagascar Vanilla – rich and creamy. Mexican Vanilla – bold, dark, smokey. Indian Vanilla – full, chocolate. Indonesian Vanilla – mild, well balanced. Tahitian Vanilla – floral, cherry-chocolate. Tonga Vanilla – earthy, fig, raisin.

How many vanilla beans are in a cup of vodka?

It’s easy to scale this recipe up or down, the proportions are 3 whole vanilla beans per 1 cup (8 oz) vodka, or 1 1/2 vanilla beans per 1/2 cup (4 oz) vodka.

What is a Grade B vanilla bean?

Grade ‘B’ vanilla beans (also called extract beans). This vanilla is less moist and less attractive. But don’t worry, because the flavor isn’t in the water. There are about 140 to 160 grade ‘B’ beans (6-7 inch) per pound (10 per oz). 15% – 25% moisture content.

What is vanilla bean paste?

Vanilla bean paste is a rich, thick paste that contains a blend of the scraped-out vanilla pod seeds and vanilla extract. You still get the classic, rich vanilla flavor that the pod offers but you don’t have to prep and seed the pods yourself.

What are Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans?

Bourbon vanilla beans are long and slender, with a rich flavor and aroma. They have thick, oily skin, strong vanilla notes and contain an abundance of tiny seeds. Bourbon beans from Madagascar are creamy, hay-like and sweet, with rich vanillin overtones. Terrific as the flavor for homemade ice cream.

Can you buy vanilla sugar?

Where Can I Find Vanilla Sugar? If you’re in the United States, you’re not entirely out of luck buying pre-packaged vanilla sugar. You may be able to find some at a specialty grocery store, and a few big box stores carry it as well.

For more information and questions, check out our review of the best vanilla beans for baking.

Recipes and cooking instructions for vegan vanilla bean ice cream.

Ingredients: 1 can coconut milk (full fat) 3 vanilla beans 2 tsp cinnamon powder 2 tsp agave syrup 1/4 cup almond meal or oat flour Directions: Simmer coconut milk in a saucepan until it starts to boil. Remove from heat, pour into blender and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add more sweetener if you like it sweeter, but be careful not to make your ice cream too sweet! Enjoy immediately! This recipe yields approximately 3 cups of vegan vanilla bean icecream which serves about 9 people.

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