“Vanilla extract is, in many ways, the black pepper of dessert – a pantry staple that most of us take for granted, but that has tremendous power over the aroma of a dish, even when it plays a supporting role.”
I have adopted the long-standing tradition that PURE vanilla extract is the one and only flavoring worthy of my cookies. I use Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla in alllll my baking. It’s deep, nuanced flavors speak to my palate. The flavors translate into a dessert with personality, standing out from the bland competition.
I’ve been buying 32oz bottles of pure Nielsen Massey vanilla for over a decade, feeling confident I was using the best product for making desserts and treats. Until I read this. And this. Evidence suggesting that imitation vanilla may perform just as well (and sometimes better!) than pure vanilla.
And, thus began my vanilla identity crisis. The information included in the blog post is the result of hours of researching (and soul searching) about vanilla. Let me share what I’ve learned. [Read more…]