Jump to Navigation

We've moved! The new address is http://www.henriettes-herb.com - update your links and bookmarks!

Vanilla extract.

Botanical name:

Date: Thu, 21 Dec 1995 18:41:56 -0500
From: Robert Seidel <RSYES.AOL.COM>
Subject: Re: Making Vanilla

> I was wondering if anyone knew how to make vanilla? I have looked in some of my herbal books and also gotten some from the local library, but have been unsuccessful in finding a recipe.

Buy some beans (a whole bunch) Split them with a knife lengthwise, and soak in pure grain alc. if its available where you are (Vodka if you can't get the real thing)

Allow to soak for about two weeks in a warm not hot place. Repeat using the same solvent until you are pleased with the concentration. Vanilla Tincture!!

Happy Holidays

From: chris utterback <robertu.PC.JARING.MY>

> I was wondering if anyone knew how to make vanilla?

I assume that you are talking about making vanilla extract. Most of the recipes that I have seen in the past suggest placing whole vanilla beans in brandy and then letting the solution age for several weeks in a warm place to release the oils into the brandy. This is at best a poor substitute however for good commercially produced extract. Of note, there was an excellent article on vanilla in Herban Lifestyles Jul/Aug 1995 authored by the VP of Zink & Triest, the largest buyer and seller of vanilla beans in the world. I am unable to attach the article here as it is copyrighted by the author.


From: Robert Seidel <RSYES.AOL.COM>

This is a poor substitute because the alc. content of brandy isn't high enough. It takes longer and imparts the flavor of brandy to your extract

From: "Julia A. Goldsberry" <GOLD.AOL.COM>

> I was wondering if anyone knew how to make vanilla?

Funny you should ask, just got my new issue of "The Herb Quarterly" Winter 95. There is an article on vanilla. It includes several recipes including this one for Vanilla Extract:

Split 7 vanilla beans end-to-end with a sharp knife. Add these to a .750 liter (1/5) bottle of rum, vodka, everclear,scotch,brandy, or alcohol of your choice. Let stand for three to four weeks before using. When bottle is 1/4 full add three to four more beans and more alcohol. Let stand for another week before using. Seeds may float in the syrupy liquid but unless yoou are giving the finished product as a gift, don't remove them-they only add to the flavor. Use one-forth to one-third the amount called for in most recipes as this has a very strong vanilla flavor. The vanilla beans are good as long as they have a vanilla scent. When they have lost their scent, discard and replace with fresh beans. You may remove the beans from the alcohol base and either scrape or chop and use them in recipes in place of the extract if you want a strong vanilla flavor.

From: Henriette Kress <HeK.HETTA.PP.FI>

> I was wondering if anyone knew how to make vanilla?

Like how?
Like taking the raw 'bean' and fermenting that? Chris, in Malaysia, should be able to come up with an answer to that. (I'd be interested too).
Like taking the fermented 'bean' and put it into sugar to get vanilla sugar? No recipe needed for that I think.

You do get something that tastes a lot like vanilla when you make dandelion flower syrup (_no_ green stuff allowed among the flower petals when you do that).


From: chris utterback <robertu.PC.JARING.MY>

>Like how? Like taking the raw 'bean' and fermenting that? Chris, in Malaysia, should be able to come up with an answer to that. (I'd be interested too).

Henriette & others- I too was unclear whether the request was for making a vanilla flavored product or curing vanilla beans. After publishing an article on Vanilla by Henry Todd, Jr. I assumed that no one who even think they could cure their own vanilla beans. First one would have to find vanilla beans growing, Then they would have to be expert enough to know exactly when to pick the beans in order for the flavor to develop during curing. Then there's the whole curing process which is too involved and lengthy to go into here. Different curing processes in the vanilla growing regions produce different *flavor profiles* of the beans. Some of the folks here may be interested in buying beans and here's what the Henry Todd, Jr, the largest vanilla importer/exporter in the world, has to say. "Bourbon vanilla beans, from Madagascar and the Comoro Islands in the Indian Ocean, are generally regarded as having the best aroma. Mexican vanilla is similar to Bourbon, but is further characterized as dusty and nutlike. Indonesian beans have an entirely different profile related to what some feel are inferior curing practices. Indonesian beans add a smoky note to extracts. They are described as woody, herbal, harsh, or nutty. They are never as sweet or buttery flavored as Bourbon vanilla beans. Tahitian beans are an entirely different species of orchid and have a strong floral aroma. Because vanilla production is so time consuming and much of the work is done by hand, vanilla ranks among the most expensive flavorings in the world." Pretty interesting stuff.


From: Robert Seidel <RSYES.AOL.COM>

Seems to be more than one Largest vanilla bean dealer in the world

I'm the worlds largest vanilla consumer in the world!

From: Marilynne Durrett-Johnson <Mjbdj.AOL.COM>

> I was wondering if anyone knew how to make vanilla?

I've been making my own vanilla for several years. I simply slit the bean down the middle to expose the inside (this makes the process a little faster) and put several beans per fifth into grain alcohol. I'm told you can use vodka or brandy also. Anyway, let it sit for several months. Shake occassionally. It will turn a nice light brown and smell very good. I have found, though, that it does not work well on non-cooked recipes such as icing, as you can still taste the alcohol.

If I give any as a gift, I always put it in a pretty bottle and put a piece of vanilla bean in the bottle.

Main menu 2