Where have people found the cheapest and good vanilla beans in NYC (or boroughs if necessary?) I know there's good sources online, but since I only need a few now and then, wanted to buy them in the city if possible. Wondering if people know of any good sources..
The one's I checked out yesterday:
NY Cake Supplies - 2 beans for like $11-12
Kaluystans - 3.99 per bean, but they looked a bit dried out
(Previously, I had checked out Whole Foods and they were around 2 for 9 or so))
I went with Williams & Sonoma - 2 for 8.50, pricey, but the beans looked moist and plump
Any other places to try? or is this the norm in NYC?
Williams & Sonoma has good quality beans. Other places to explore might be Eli's Vinegar Factory (UES) or Sahadi's Importing Company (BKLYN). Not far from Manhattan at all by subway. You'll find Sahadi's prices to be more to your liking. Call them first to make sure. I've provided the link below.
I buy mine from the bulk spice section at Integral Yoga's health food store on 13th street b/w 7th and 8th -- they're very fresh and good quality -- and you just buy what you need. Don't get sticker shock: the container is labeled $199/pound -- but that works out to only a buck or two per bean -- and they're always fresh and plump. (they're a good source for a lot of bulk spices -- and fresh nuts -- raw or roasted -- as well).