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Vanilla Extract vs. Imitation Vanilla Flavor Comparison

Vanilla Extract vs. Imitation Vanilla Flavor Comparison

What is the difference between vanilla extract and imitation vanilla flavor?

Ingredients make the difference between vanilla extract and imitation vanilla. Artificial vanilla flavoring is actually often made from synthetic vanillin, extracted from a wood pulp, while vanilla extract is from real high-quality vanilla beans. Vanilla essence isn't able to replicate the complex bouquet of flavor that you find in genuine vanilla extract because it does not contain the same organic compounds. It only contains vanillin, leaving you with missing flavors. The Spice House only carries pure vanilla extract, made from premium vanilla beans.


What is the difference between imitation vanilla, vanilla flavor, and vanilla essence?

These are all interchangeable terms for vanilla-like flavoring. There are many ways that synthesized vanillin is made, frequently it is extracted from a wood pulp.


What are good recipes for vanilla extract?

We have fantastic recipes featuring vanilla extract including holiday pound cake, brownies, and old fashioned cheesecake.


Where can I learn more about vanilla extract?

The Spice House has a blog post where we outline the details of Madagascar vanilla beans, one of our best-selling varieties of vanilla extract. Madagascar produces over 80% of the world's vanilla and is considered one of the finest varieties in the world.


Where to buy vanilla extract

The Spice House carries a few different types of vanilla extracts: Madagascar vanilla extract, Mexican vanilla extract, and Tahitian vanilla extract. Their difference lies in where they are grown, giving a unique regional-specific taste. Madagascar extract has a classic floral fragrance with undertones of dried dark fruits. Mexican extract on the other hand has a raisin aroma and extra spiciness. Tahitian extract has a complex cherry-like fragrance.


How to make vanilla extract

If you only have vanilla beans on hand we have a recipe here that you can use to make your own vanilla extract. You only need two ingredients: vodka and vanilla beans. Leave us a comment if you make a batch of your own!



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