Where Is Vanilla Extract In The Grocery Store?

Vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world and is notoriously difficult to produce, thanks to its reliance on a certain type of insect for pollination. Extracts and substitutes often taste and smell like vanilla (and often include imitation vanilla flavor), but for all intents and purposes they are different from pure natural vanilla extract.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn more about the history of this exotic commodity, its many uses, and why you should choose real vanilla extract with care.

What is vanilla extract

Vanilla extract is a liquid flavoring made from vanilla beans, which are the pods of the vanilla orchid. The extract is made by soaking whole beans in alcohol and water (usually a combination of vodka and water, hence the white color), then steeping and filtering the mixture. A small amount of sugar is usually added to balance the flavor, although natural vanilla extract has no sweetener. Vanilla extract can be used to flavor both desserts and savory dishes, but it’s most popular for its use in baked goods such as cakes and cookies.

Vanilla beans are the dried seed pods of an orchid plant native to Mexico. To grow vanilla, you first need to hand-pollinate vanilla orchids. Next, the flowers must be picked and placed on racks to “sweat” out their fragrant oils. After that, workers gather the little black seeds (or “beans”) and dry them for use in a variety of products.

Mexicans and early Spanish explorers were the first to use vanilla. In fact, the word “vanilla” comes from the Spanish word for “little pod.” 16th-century Spanish explorers brought vanilla beans to Europe, where vanilla flourished. Today, Madagascar is the largest producer of natural vanilla extract in the world (although Mexico and other Central American countries are now also major producers).

What does vanilla extract taste like

Vanilla is known for its buttery, warm flavor that blends well with most other ingredients. You can use it to add a sweet note to many dishes, including desserts such as ice cream or brownies; savory dishes such as chicken or seafood; or even drinks like coffee or tea. Its flavor is often described as sweet, powdery, or rich. Even the natural vanilla extract used to flavor baking goods has no sweetness; it just adds a subtle, pleasant aroma. However, any artificial vanilla flavoring will almost always have a sweetening agent added (usually some type of veggie glycerin).

This ingredient doesn’t make your food taste like vanilla — it just gives it that extra little something to take the dish over the top. Real vanilla extract is generally stronger in flavor than imitation extracts (which are often made with chemicals or other additives), and is best used in small amounts — even half a teaspoon or less — in your recipes.

Why you should use real vanilla extract

So, why should you use real vanilla extract over the copycat stuff? There are a few reasons:

1.) Vanillin. Whether natural or imitation, all vanilla extracts contain about the same amount of vanillin. However, pure, natural vanilla extract — also known as “extract” — is made from whole vanilla beans; in other words, it’s made from the actual plant and not just the seeds. And since vanillin is an essential oil produced by plants (as opposed to a coloring), it’s more potent when used in foods that contain less fat or sugar. Chemically, vanillin has the same chemical formula as linalool (another chemical found in lavender and other plants), but the two compounds have different smells. Linalool isn’t nearly as sweet or many times more expensive than vanilla extract.

On top of that, vanillin gives the flavor of vanilla its distinctive aroma and taste. Vanillin is what gives vanilla its creamy, sweet taste — and it’s what makes real vanilla so much better than imitation extract: It’s what your body recognizes as “real.”

2.) Flavor notes. You can get vanilla flavors from real vanilla extract or imitation extract, but the latter won’t be nearly as strong in flavor because it doesn’t contain anything objectionable called vanillin.

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There are several types of imitation vanilla flavor, including ethyl vanillin and wood-based vanillin. The first is made completely from synthetic chemicals, while the second is made from wood byproducts.

Vanilla isn’t just delicious. According to research, its aroma can help you relax and feel more alert, depending on its concentration. Because of that, many people make their own vanilla extract at home; this way they can control the ingredients and ensure that they aren’t getting artificial flavoring (or harmful chemicals). Knowing how much vanillin is in your vanilla extract is a good way to test the quality of your essential oil — one that’s stronger will have a stronger taste than a weaker one.

Do you know where to find vanilla extract in the grocery store as this ingredient greatly enhances recipes?Almost all baking recipes call for it, so knowing where to find it in the grocery store will prove to be quite helpful.

What aisle is vanilla extract in the grocery store?

Vanilla extract is a common product used in baking, so to find it in the grocery store, you should check the baking aisle.

Almost any supermarket or grocery store will carry this product as it is a common ingredient used by most people who do any baking. While there are numerous brands of vanilla extract on the market, grocery stores generally carry only one or two brands in their stores.

This product should be placed by or near the other spices and is generally found in either a stand-alone bottle or some brands that place their small bottles inside a box.

Make sure you check your labels before taking from the shelf as some stores also carry a vanilla essence, which is not the same as vanilla extract.

If you can’t find it at your local grocery store, then you should ask for help. Surely, they will give you the information you need to find this product.

It comes in liquid form, so you will find this product in either glass or plastic bottles, not overly large because most recipes only have you use it by the teaspoonful. Generally, the largest bottle will be around eight fluid ounces, and the smaller size is approximately one fluid ounce.

Vanilla extract offers you choices of either a pure product or an imitation flavor. As with all products, you will pay more for the pure version, since it comes directly from the vanilla bean.

The imitation vanilla extract is a weak solution taken from the wood pulp or lignin of the bean plant. Professional bakers will report there is no comparison between these two options as the ‘pure’ vanilla is the only one to give you a ‘true’ vanilla taste.

In case you just want to make your own vanilla extract at home, we found this video to help you!Vanilla is definitely important to your recipes. It will be your challenge to decide if you can accept the imitation or are a true pure vanilla extract consumer.

Does Walmart have vanilla extract?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. Walmart does carry vanilla extract — it’s one of the first products you’ll see on Walmart’s website and almost always found in the baking aisle of Walmart.com, as well as in stores across the country.

Here is a list of ingredients found in generic imitation vanilla extract: corn syrup solids, dextrose, dextrose anhydrous, water, ethyl vanillin (natural), flavorsings (artificial). [1]

It goes without saying that imitation vanilla is inferior to real vanilla extract and for this reason, we recommend that you use real product when possible.

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How can I buy vanilla extract?

Simply walking into a store and buying vanilla extract may be a good option if you are looking for the real thing. Buying online, however, allows you to use discretion and make the purchase based on price, convenience and more.

Amazon is currently selling McCormick Vanilla Extract in a 4-ounce bottle for $4.86, which is about 2/3 of what you’d pay at Walmart ($8.96). And if you buy with subscribe & save (which will bring your cost down to $4.46 or so), you can get an additional 20% off your order! There are other sellers on Amazon selling McCormick’s vanilla extract as well.

Also, know that you’ll pay less at Walmart if you can get it in the store than if you buy online. The price disparity is a result of different operating costs that e-commerce sellers and brick-and-mortar stores do not have to deal with.

The vanilla extract is sold in the baking section and costs about $8-10 depending on the amount. However, we recommend buying the vanilla beans instead because it is cheaper and gives more flavor than vanilla extract. McCormick’s version is not transparent about their ingredients and may contain substances you don’t want to consume. Rather, we recommend buying this one which was rated #1 by Consumer Reports.

Is vanilla the same as extract?

At McCormick, you will find vanilla both as an extract and as a pure vanilla bean. Both of these products can be used to make Vanilla Ice Cream, Vanilla Cake or just to add a touch of delicious flavor to your favorite recipes.

In essence, the extract is the concentrated essence of vanilla that comes from the whole bean. We recommend using the extract for baking since it is much more potent than the vanilla beans and does not impart any other flavor in your food. It is also cheaper than using whole bean.

Vanilla Extract can be used in many recipes from beverages to desserts. We recommend McCormick’s vanilla extract, which is a pure extract that can be used in your favorite recipes without the risk of any imitation flavor.

How vanilla extract is made?

The first step of making vanilla extract is to choose the best quality beans, which then need to be cleaned, dried and cured. The beans are very fragile, so they need to be handled with care even after cleaning and curing for long enough for them to dry out completely. When you have gotten the best beans, you will need to scrape off the pulp and inside seeds from the pods.

After removing the pods, you will need to rub off the scented outer skin. This is done by hand to remove all the beans’ flavors until they become a clear vanilla extract. The pod is scraped and tied into a bag with a cork; then it is shaken and left to sit in a cool place for storage. After six months of storage, your extract should be ready to use. You can store it up to one year if you are not using it within that period of time.

What does vanilla extract do for your recipes?

Vanilla Extract adds an incredible flavor in your foods that can help make any recipe look professional and delicious. Its flavor adds complexity and depth to your favorite recipes and has the ability to change the taste. This makes vanilla extract a must-have for any cook.

As a baker, you can use it in any recipe that requires vanilla as an ingredient, such as cookies or cakes. You can also use it in many other recipes such as barbecue sauce, ice cream or even just in your drink. The possibilities of how to use it are endless!

How much vanilla should you add?

The amount of vanilla extract should be added according to the quantity of food to be made. For example, if you are making muffins, then add one teaspoon of extract per cup of flour (approximately 4 tablespoons). If you are making cupcakes, then add one teaspoon into each cup and bake. You can use vanilla extract instead of plain vanilla in any recipe, of course because it adds an extra burst of delicious flavor.

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For those who want to get the best quality vanilla extract from McCormick, this is how to use the product. Simply follow these steps:

Make sure to purchase pure vanilla beans instead of extracts. If you do not have a reliable source for pure vanilla beans, then consider purchasing McCormick’s Vanilla Bean Pure Extract for $11.98 per 4-ounce bottle and save over 50% with subscribe & save. We recommend this Vanilla Bean, since it is praised by Consumer Reports. Use McCormick’s Vanilla Extract, because it is the best-rated vanilla extract on the market.

Then follow these steps:

Make sure your beans are still whole and soft. Take out your vanilla bean, making sure to wash and dry it before storage or placement in your cupboard. You may want to wrap it in paper or an airtight container before storing to ensure its freshness. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the vanilla bean lengthwise along one side and scrape out all of the tiny black seeds that you can find with a small spoon (or push them out with your finger). Include the vanilla bean’s tip in your recipe. Place one or two whole beans into the bottle of vanilla extract and fill to the top. Fill up any extra space with more beans. Seal the top with a cork and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds or up to 2 minutes. Store vanilla extract in an airtight container inside your cabinet.

When storing your bottles, make sure to place them away from direct sunlight, which can ruin it in a very short period of time, so they will stay fresh longer.

While you continue to use McCormick’s Vanilla Extract, use it within one year because you can keep this product for longer up to two years if you do not use it within that period of time.

Is vanilla extract safe to eat?

The vanilla bean contains salicylates, which are very poisonous, but it is not toxic. To consume a little bit of vanilla extract is perfectly fine because it does not contain enough of the extracts for that to happen. Also, since the vanilla bean contains much less than the beans used for extracts and is much more potent, you do not need to worry about consuming too much.

However, if you want to make sure that your diet is safe and pure, we recommend using McCormick’s Vanilla Extract as well as McCormick’s Pure Vanilla Extract because both feature recipes that are safe for consumption.

Vanilla extract is a magical flavoring that can add depth of flavor to your favorite recipes, but you need to make sure you are using the best vanilla extract to get the most from this amazing ingredient. The McCormick Vanilla Bean Pure Extract is just perfect for any bake; it adds a new dimension and complexity to your treats and much more! Enjoy this amazing product.

What can I use instead of vanilla extracts?

If you do not have any vanilla extract on hand and are trying to find a way to make your own, then there are some viable options. When you want a simple vanilla extract, you can try using pure vanilla beans. If you want something a bit stronger, then consider using pure vanilla powder.

However, since these two ingredients are expensive and hard to come by, then consider purchasing McCormick’s Vanilla Extract instead. It is a much more affordable option and can help make thousands of recipes possible! Also, since this is the best-rated product available on the market, you can use it without worry.

To enjoy the authentic taste that you love, then you need to use vanilla extract in your favorite recipes. You can use it alone or with other ingredients and it will be a perfect addition to any dessert! Vanilla extract is the best way to enhance the flavor of your food, so use McCormick’s Vanilla Extract today and make any recipe taste professional.