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Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:14 PM

Eek, the price of vanilla!

I haven’t bought vanilla in ages, having had one of those giant Costco bottles of the stuff that lasted me for years. I just about fell over when I went to buy another bottle. Is there some kind of vanilla shortage I wasn’t aware of?

On a related note, I had a backup bottle of vanilla—supposedly really Mexican vanilla, picked up in Cozumel. It turned out to be nasty artificial stuff that went right down the drain. Someone saw a tourist coming.

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Reply Eek, the price of vanilla! (Original post)
spinbaby Nov 2017 OP
Irish_Dem Nov 2017 #1
Sedona Nov 2017 #2
Cracklin Charlie Nov 2017 #3
lapfog_1 Nov 2017 #7
kimbutgar Nov 2017 #4
NRaleighLiberal Nov 2017 #5
femmocrat Nov 2017 #6
blaze Nov 2017 #11
pansypoo53219 Nov 2017 #8
jmowreader Nov 2017 #9
Hortensis Nov 2017 #10
PennyK Nov 2017 #12

Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:27 PM

1. And the bottles are getting smaller and smaller because it is so expensive.

I have no idea why vanilla costs so darn much.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:29 PM

2. Same here (suburban Atlanta)

Almost $11 for a tiny bottle of McCormick vanilla extract

Why can't I ever find chestnuts for my stuffing?

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:32 PM

3. Make your own?

I think it's just liquor (bourbon?) and vanilla beans.

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Response to Cracklin Charlie (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 04:36 PM

7. yes, or 70% alcohol (140 proof)

vodka...

1 cup your favorite alcohol with 7 vanilla beans in a glass jar.

You have to wait like 8 weeks shaking the bottle holding the beans (cut once lengthwise) which are completely immersed in the alcohol about once or twice a week.

BTW. Madagascar vanilla beans are running around $9.95 PER BEAN right now.

So like $80 to make a cup (8 fl oz) of homemade.

But the same bean in a bunch of 25 is more like $120... a much more reasonable $4.80 per bean.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:49 PM

4. I heard it is because of deforestation and global warming

The places the beans grow are being destroyed. So there is less supply. I heard about this of years ago about how foods we take for granted will no longer exist in 20 years. And the fake vanilla is ghastly.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:52 PM

5. get some good vanilla beans (sometime TJ Maxx has them at a really good price) - and some vodka

split the beans, put in the bottle of vodka, leave it in a closet for a month (or a year) - it will get dark brown and smell wonderful - fill your small bottles with it and voila!

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 03:53 PM

6. All spices and seasonings are ridiculous.

I needed 1/4 tsp of poultry seasoning for a recipe. A bottle cost between 4 and 5 dollars. I improvised with a little of this and a little of that. It tasted fine!

Do you have an Aldi near you? Sometimes you can get a bargain in there. Good thing about vanilla, it lasts forever.

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Response to femmocrat (Reply #6)

Sun Nov 19, 2017, 12:25 PM

11. I just discovered that Sprouts sells bulk spices!!

Maybe this is common in some stores? I have no idea.

But I have a cupboard full of old, rarely used spices that I feel much better about tossing now that I know I can just buy a bit at a time. I am probably way too excited about this.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 08:56 PM

8. hate buying mccormick, but sales. got 4 more bottles. mid west is cheaper.

did get a bottle from a pal who went to mexico. hope its ok. NEXT TIME BEANS!!!

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sat Nov 18, 2017, 09:57 PM

9. Go here

This is what I use when I can't get good Mexican vanilla:

https://www.jrwatkins.com/gourmet.aspx?facet=%7BB08C6E44-C83B-470F-95A8-AA1C38EA08F5%7D

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sun Nov 19, 2017, 08:46 AM

10. As Kimbutgar says. #1 cause of skyrocketing prices will be climate change.

No saying one cyclone can be chalked up to that, of course, but from Quartz Media in August:

As a huge tropical storm drifted westward across the Indian Ocean in March, it set itself on a collision course with the world’s sweet tooth.

Cyclone Enawo wreaked havoc on Madagascar, inflicting enough damage on the world’s biggest vanilla producer to roil the global vanilla trade and send prices to a record high of more than $600 per kilogram. And as farmers on the ground have worked to recover in subsequent months, those prices have trickled down to consumers in places thousands of miles away from the island nation.

I remember a couple years ago when limes went through the roof. In my nice safe kitchen I googled to find out why my little limes were so expensive. Turned out out drug cartels were shaking down lime growers in central America. Most of course had to knuckle and pass the price on, but others armed themselves and were fighting, making me wonder if my limes were harvested and trucked out under armed guard. Lime wars.

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Response to spinbaby (Original post)

Sun Nov 19, 2017, 12:29 PM

12. Aldi has it

And if your market carries Badia, the ethnic spice brand, that's also pretty cheap, and has no sugar added.

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