Madagascar Vanilla Bean Pods
Before I began using fresh vanilla pods in my cooking, many of my dishes were just mediocre. When I finally broke down and decided to order Madagascar vanilla beans online, it made such a difference in my baking that I haven't looked back since. My husband laughed at me when he saw that I was ordering this stuff for my kitchen, but since I've been using the imported pods, I haven't heard any complaints, that's for sure! I had always assumed that using a good quality vanilla extract would be sufficient to get the vanilla flavor that I needed without the additional cost of fresh vanilla bean pods. I have purchased just about every brand available, but have never been quite satisfied with the results. Now, I realize that the pods are worth every penny, despite the little bit of additional preparation work that is required. Even my children noticed the difference in some of the baked goods that I had made with fresh vanilla, which surprised me. I didn't think that the wee ones would notice the difference between my store brought vanilla extract and my imported vanilla pods.
How To Use Vanilla Pods For Baking
A lot of people are intimidated by vanilla bean pods because they don't know how to use them. Intimidation should not prevent you from trying something new or different. It's not as hard as you might think it is. Regular vanilla extract is easy to use; you simply pour and measure. With vanilla bean pods, there is a little bit more work involved, but I promise you, it will be well worth your trouble. For starters, be sure that when you do purchase your Madagascar vanilla beans, Mexican vanilla pods or whichever vanilla beans you prefer, that you purchase vanilla pods that are pure. Some companies will add preservatives to the vanilla pods that can add a bitter aftertaste.
Remove one of the vanilla pods from the jar or package and lay it lengthwise on a cutting board in front of you. Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the vanilla pod lengthwise without going all the way through it, so that you have created a pocket of sorts. Next, hold down the end of the vanilla pod and use your knife to gently scrape the vanilla beans from the inside of the pot. You can use these vanilla beans in any of your dishes as the recipe requires. That's it- it's that simple. I guarantee you that you will find a huge difference in the flavor and enhancements that fresh imported vanilla beans will add to your baking or cooking.
Mexican Vanilla Bean Pods
You used to have to go to a specialty ethnic food store (such as a Mexican food store) to be able to buy these vanilla beans. Now, it is easy to order imported vanilla pods with the click of a mouse. There are many stores online that sell these products for a very reasonable cost. If you haven't already tried them, be sure to give them a try in the near future, you have nothing to lose but the artificial taste of the common vanilla extracts that we buy in our local grocery stores.
Imported spices have a way of adding a delicious flare to your cooking. Because these spices can be a bit of an initial investment, be sure that you store your spices away from sunlight and at room temperature. This will help ensure that they retain their potency for as long as possible, so that you can use your spices as much as possible before they need to be replaced.