Vanilla Beans

Oh thank flippy, I found some pictures I’d loaded previously and hadn’t posted yet. Any way, here are some more pictures of the vanilla beans I purchased off of eBay from Vanilla Products USA. The photo above is 1 lb of Grade B Tahitian vanilla beans.

I also bought half of a pound of Madagascar Grade B vanilla beans (the kind of beans usually used in vanilla extract), and then they tossed in a 1/4 lb of Grade A Tahitian beans for free.

The Tahitian vanilla beans are much different from Madagascar vanilla beans. They are a little more delicate. Floral is a term I’ve heard used to describe them, and that’s not entirely inaccurate. I also keep thinking Play-Doh – something reminds me a little bit of that combo of flour, salt, and water. That’s probably wildly inaccurate, but I just can’t get it out of my head.

Madagascar beans are also known as Bourbon vanilla beans, and they’re richer, smelly buttery-er, and are the vanilla I think of when I think of vanilla.
Quality-wise, they are all quite nice, and I haven’t been able to really discern the difference between A and B grade Tahitian beans. And the Grade B Madagascar beans are nice, too. I’ve had other beans that were a little moister/plumper, but I can only imagine how awesome Vanilla Products USA’s Grade A Madagascar beans are. Their Grade B Madagascars are on par with or better than some beans I’ve bought in stores.

Can you guess which beans are which? There is one of each bean here.

I would have a very hard time telling the Tahitians apart if they weren’t kept in separate baggies. The Madagascar is easy to tell because of its smell, but if I had two kinds I’d be hard pressed to pick out the grades, I bet.

Just imagine the top image tilted to the right a quarter turn to straighten things out.
The beans, from left to right, are: Grade B Tahitian, Madagascar, and Grade A Tahitian.

Wasn’t that hard? Did you get it right? If you did, you are a Super Vanilla Beanie! Way to go!

The Madagascar might look a little small, which might be why it is a Grade B. Sure, it is shorter, but still plenty flavorful. I don’t mind the little guys. And these beans are purchased by weight and not size/quantity, so it doesn’t really matter.

I have to say, the hardest thing I’ve come across with these beans is that I seem to have run out of recipes to use them in! I have vanilla bean usage-block. HALP!

3 thoughts on “Vanilla Beans”

  1. Yumminess. You could always go the creme brulee route…or homemade vanilla ice cream…vanilla simple syrup…for a “ohmigosh your house smells AMAZING” effect simmer some beans with a cinnamon stick and some grated nutmeg (unfortunately this trick tends to make me and the hubby quite hungry)

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