rave for CVS imit vanilla extract
[Moved from Manhattan board by moderators]
Quite surprised when Cooks Illustrated rated CVS premium vanilla extract very high (#2 overall) out of all real and imitation vanilla extracts. I am a firm believer in "natural" flavorings and will use real fruit zests, oils, etc and have paid the extra money for the Madagascar vanilla extract. Picked up the 8 oz. for 99 cents CVS "premium imitation vanilla extract with natural flavorings". I used in in brownies, delicious. Used it in a creme anglaise at the end after the custard cooked, delicious. Very impressed. Expensive is not always better I will continue to use this product.
The CI recommendation caught my eye too. I was surprised and impressed--a cheap product, with high quality results! Tried it in both baking (cookies and cakes) and hot chocolate. Now I can be as heavy-handed with vanilla as I like to be, without being cost conscious.
I highly recommend Watkin's imitation vanilla as well. And I too am one who believes natural is best...but this is good.