Vanilla Bean Tremens

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

VanillinSung in the tune of “Bottles of Beer on the wall“: One hundred seventy six vanilla beans on the counter, one hundred seventy six vanilla beans! Split one down stuff it in sugar, one hundred and seventy five vanilla beans on the counter…

My package of eBay vanilla arrived the other day. I had forgotten I had bid on one pound of the stuff, so I was surprised at the postal brick lofted at me by Sweets. I had won an auction for one pound of 5 – 6 inch organic tahitian vanilla beans (I’m really restraining from shouting this… its that incredible!). My local stores sell 6-7 inch beans for $4 a piece, and these were won at $14.25 plus $6 S&H. Everyone is getting lewd ginger bread cookies and vanilla beans for Christmas this year!

The beans arrived wrapped in three layers of plastic wrap- which still didn’t prevent the house from smelling like vanilla. Oddly enough the smell isn’t that great. With that much vanilla,the aroma is almost plastic-like… kind of reminiscent of cigars… but definitely just like my Angel Food Cake Strawberry Shortcake Doll (who unfortunatley gave me migraines)!

The beans are thick, plump and waxy. Not a dried up one in the bunch. Though there are a couple under 5 inches in length. Turns out that tahitian beans reportedly contain only a small amount of vanillin, when compaired to bourbon beans. Very high quality beans often exhibit a powdery white crystal on the bean surface (the vanillin crystallized) .

I’m using this post to organize and gather whole vanilla bean ideas. Feel free to help me out with ideas (non-edible too… you know, like shampoo…).

Vanilla Bean

  • - vanilla bean paste: 1Tbs = 1 bean: Dry the beans out, grind them in a spice grinder then mix them with light corn syrup enough to make a paste.
  • - 1 whole vanilla bean = 2 – 3 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • - vanilla oil


Vanilla Bean
Savory Projects

Vanilla Bean

  • - vanilla liqueur: vodka, sugar, vanilla
  • - straight up vodka and vanilla beans
  • - bourbon and vanilla beans
  • - tincture of vanilla


How do I love thee Vanilla… let me count the ways…


posted September 13th, 2005 at 6:55 pm

It looks like those pictures are from Patricia Rain’s book, right? (She’s “the Vanilla Queen.”)

She’s a friend of mine, and hopefully will be writing an essay for my blog soon. She is strongly interest in the farmers who are growing vanilla, as big business is tampering with regulations about revealing the presence of synthetic vanilla in food. I’ll give you a trackback when she posts, if you like.

Congratulations on the score. I love vanilla so much.

  • Thanks for the reminder- Rain’s book is on my to-do list. In the meantime, I’ll be keeping my ears pressed to the farm fence for her essay!


- Tana
posted September 13th, 2005 at 10:16 pm I am soooo jealous! Are you going to make vanilla…ahem, appendages for your lewd ginger-people?

The drop in vanilla prices has been very nice, hasn’t it? My standard perfume has been vanilla oil for a couple of decades and between that and my cooking it’s been stupidly expensive. But even with the price drops, I’ve seen nothing like your ebay deal–I shall have to go shopping.


posted September 13th, 2005 at 10:43 pm

By the way, Patricia Rain’s website is, which shouldn’t surprise anyone.

She is a beautiful woman, a free spirit, colorful, and with a melodious voice.

I am glad to see all the organic vanilla beans on eBay. This deserves trumpeting. Thank you. (It helps the vanilla growers.)

- Tana
posted September 16th, 2005 at 6:59 am

I’ve been tempted to bid on them, but wasn’t sure what I would do with so many. Now thanks to your tips and ideas, I just might take the plunge!

posted September 16th, 2005 at 10:14 pm

First time caller, first time listener.

Savory: I used a touch of vanilla (bit of cocoa too)in a beef stew. Sort of a mole inspired idea. It didn’t suck. If red meat hasn’t been outlawed yet in Eugene ;-) give it a try.


  • I just knew I was eating on the edge here in this town! We really like to think of ourselves as poly-vores. We love all types of food!

    – McAuliflower

- mczlaw
posted December 22nd, 2005 at 10:44 pm

[...] Mmm a good use for vanilla steeped alcohol? How about eggnog? [...]

posted January 6th, 2006 at 8:28 am

Wow 1lb for $15 what a steal. But.. if the aroma is not absolutely delightful then the beans are bad!!!

If you want to try some of the best beans in the world go to

When you checkout enter a coupon code of browniepoints and receive %15 off your purchase.


  • Cool- thanks for the note and 15% off Steve!

    – McAuliflower

- Steve

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