Which brand of vanilla, real and/or imitation do you use?


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hullo bakers,

Yes, I read this. :)

Curious on what you all are using.
Especially if you are making cookies!

I'm using McCormick imitation vanilla (hard to get locally), nielsen massey extract, a local brand real vanilla extract, imitation and paste.

For those who have used Watkins vs McCormick imitation. Is Watkins worth the switch?
I'll have to import Watkins, so asking before I spend $$$... :)
Thanks a lot!
 
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hullo bakers,

Yes, I read this. :)

Curious on what you all are using.
Especially if you are making cookies!

I'm using McCormick imitation vanilla (hard to get locally), nielsen massey extract, a local brand real vanilla extract, imitation and paste.

For those who have used Watkins vs McCormick imitation. Is Watkins worth the switch?
I'll have to import Watkins, so asking before I spend $$$... :)
Thanks a lot!


They are both good. But I use McCormicks Baker. McCormicks is the better flavored. If you look on the ingredients list you’ll note vanillin and ethyl vanillin. The combination delivers more vanilla flavor.

Artificial and real vanilla are molecularly identical. The vanillin and ethyl vanillin combination and the weight in the solution. Where real vanilla extract is only 0.03 - 0.10g per 100 mL imitation vanillas are 0.34 - 0.64g per 100mL.

So the McCormicks Baker has the two vanillin ingredients, A higher concentration of the vanillin than extracts, and molecularly is imitation vanilla ‘s our identical to vanilla. So from a chemistry perspective it makes sense to use the McCormicks.

When people claim they can taste the difference between real and imitation vanilla, I’m always skeptical since it’s physiologically not possible to distinguish between the two.

image.jpg
 
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Hi @Norcalbaker59,

I found the mccormick baker online, they don't carry it locally. This is pretty pricey!

Did I read you right that this culinary mccormick
1. https://www.amazon.sg/McCormick-Culinary-Imitation-Vanilla-Flavor/dp/B00B4IF7BY/

and this watkins
2. https://www.amazon.sg/Watkins-Original-Gourmet-Extract-Vanilla/dp/B07DCXQ62J/?th=1
are almost the same?

I'm using this at the moment

Thank you :)
 
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Hi @Norcalbaker59,

I found the mccormick baker online, they don't carry it locally. This is pretty pricey!

Did I read you right that this culinary mccormick
1. https://www.amazon.sg/McCormick-Culinary-Imitation-Vanilla-Flavor/dp/B00B4IF7BY/

and this watkins
2. https://www.amazon.sg/Watkins-Original-Gourmet-Extract-Vanilla/dp/B07DCXQ62J/?th=1
are almost the same?

I'm using this at the moment

Thank you :)

The McCormick Bakers is available in the US in every grocery store. The McCormicks Culinary in the silver bottle is for the trade; that is a better version. Bottle that you’re currently using I’ve never seen that package, that’s not to say that it isn’t package that way for export, just that it’s not package that way in the US. look at the ingredients list and compare it to the label that I posted. That’s what’s important and what’s in the bottle.

The Watkins that you have linked there is extract not imitation vanilla. And trust me there’s way better extracts than Watkins.

Yes when things have to be imported the price goes up astronomically. Years ago I lived in Hawaii and I was flabbergasted at the price of basic staples, like the cost of a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread. Everything was so expensive.
 
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Thanks @Norcalbaker59, i'm buying the mccormick culinary one then! it's the lowest pricing for the quantity!

sorry about the links, the watkins baking vanilla ingredient list did not state vanilin & ethyl vanillin.

Screen Shot 2021-02-26 at 3.03.46 AM.png


whereas the mccormick one that I have on hand, states vanilin.
IMG_3810.jpg
 
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Thanks @Norcalbaker59, i'm buying the mccormick culinary one then! it's the lowest pricing for the quantity!

sorry about the links, the watkins baking vanilla ingredient list did not state vanilin & ethyl vanillin.

View attachment 3854

whereas the mccormick one that I have on hand, states vanilin.
View attachment 3855


Yes, the McCormicks is Imitation vanilla flavor, that’s why it has vanillin. But that one doesn’t have the ethyl vanillin; vanillin and ethyl vanillin are the same molecules contained in real vanilla bean.

The Watkins is actual extract make by macerating and filter the vanilla bean in alcohol.
 
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how awesome, going to look out for these two items in the ingredient list for vanilla going fwd. Thanks @Norcalbaker59
Just keep in mind that in buttercream, mousses, and curds, creams, flans, and sorbets, and ice creams used real vanilla bean or the vanilla bean paste. In a cold applications not even extracts flavor properly. The flavors are just off with extracts and artificial vanilla in these applications.
 
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@Norcalbaker59 thanks for your excellent comments. What is your view of vanilla paste - what items/applications is it best used, and how does the manufacturing process that creates vanilla paste differ from vanilla extract production?
 
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@Norcalbaker59 thanks for your excellent comments. What is your view of vanilla paste - what items/applications is it best used, and how does the manufacturing process that creates vanilla paste differ from vanilla extract production?

Vanilla bean paste is always preference to vanilla extract. Vanilla bean paste is usually a combination of vanilla extract and ground vanilla bean. It will also have sugar and water and a thickener.

Some brands like the Vanilla Queen uses a concentrated vanilla extract, no ground vanilla. She also adds flavoring to hers. Not to say that’s a bad/good thing just saying you have to look at the ingredients list of each brand because no two brands are going to make their paste exactly the same.

I will use vanilla bean paste in all applications where there is heat. Alcohol in extract is going to evaporate, so when there is heat, it’s going to destroy the flavor. With the vanilla paste, the blend of extract and the addition of the ground vanilla bean, the flavor is more concentrated, so the heat doesn’t destroy it.

You can also purchase ground vanilla bean. If I’m going to use vanilla extract and I want a little more potent vanilla flavor I’ll add a little bit of ground vanilla extract. Just make sure you add it to a baked good, not something creamy, like a curd or flan because the texture will be the detectable.
 
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