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Costco vanilla - is it too large?

Wendy Lai Aug 1, 2005 12:37 PM

I saw Costco has large bottle of vanilla for really cheap. But it's so huge, I'm concerned it might 'go bad' before I can use it all up.

I'm not concerned with super quality, I just want some affordable vanilla. I believe the brand they carry is McKormic, which is usually what I get from Safeway anyways.


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  1. r
    Ronin RE: Wendy Lai Aug 1, 2005 01:27 PM

    Not sure what you're getting but Costco.ca sold their store brand of pure vanilla for peanuts--the artificial was even cheaper.Mine kept forever in a cool dark cupboard.It goes surprisingly fast if you're cranking out desserts or cookies for ravenous kids.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Ronin
      nooodles RE: Ronin Aug 1, 2005 01:32 PM

      I say go for it. Even if some of it goes bad, you'll have saved money. The only time I noticed my vanilla going "bad" was when I had some Safeway brand vanilla that was over two years old and did a side by side comparison with a new bottle of Nielsen-Massey that I bought from Williams-Sonoma. Though I'd never noticed, the Safeway bottle smelled distinctly of alcohol. It could just be a case of comparing a terrible product with a quality one, though.

      Also, when you have a lot of vanilla on hand, you'll start using it in ways you might have previously considered wasteful: an extra teaspoon in each recipe, in pancakes, coffee, tea, etc. Have fun!

      1. re: nooodles
        Doug Weller RE: nooodles Aug 3, 2005 01:18 PM

        In the UK it's McCormick's. Only. The price of vanilla has been high due to bad crops, has it dropped?

        1. re: Doug Weller
          LT from LF RE: Doug Weller Aug 4, 2005 01:40 PM

          Yes...vanilla prices have eased somewhat.

      2. re: Ronin
        Will Owen RE: Ronin Jul 9, 2006 04:09 AM

        If it's real vanilla extract, it's about as high proof as most booze. Keep it closed, not hot, and out of strong light and it'll be fine

      3. c
        carfreeinla RE: Wendy Lai Aug 1, 2005 01:34 PM

        A definate winner. I use it up so quickly and I am very pleased with the quality.

        1. c
          cypressstylepie RE: Wendy Lai Aug 1, 2005 01:52 PM

          I don't think it's McCormick here anymore. The price has gone down a lot. At the Fancy Food Show, I heard the manufacturer of the Costco brand (geez, the name escapes me) say that the price of vanilla has gone down 50% in the past year. I heard there was a year of bad weather.

          My stbx used to go through vanilla like water. So I'd use a bunch of it. You can always make puddings! Ice cream. In general, I've heard that it's not unwise to double the vanilla in any recipe for more flavor.

          1 Reply
          1. re: ziere
            TexasToast RE: ziere Aug 9, 2006 10:46 AM

            I thought KIRKLAND was the Costco brand? I don't know who makes it; probably a leading vanilla extract company type thingy.


          2. 1
            1 wiener hound RE: Wendy Lai Aug 1, 2005 08:47 PM

            Have several friends go together and split the vanilla and share the price.

            1. p
              pastrytroll RE: Wendy Lai Aug 2, 2005 09:21 AM

              For home use, I usually buy a quart of Madagascar vanilla a year, and the last drops are still fine!

              1. k
                Ken RE: Wendy Lai Aug 4, 2005 01:59 PM

                If you can get to a store that carries foodstuffs imported from Mexico, try some mexican vanilla, 1/2 liter and 1 liter sizes. It's cheap and much better than the run of the mill vanilla(pure) sold in american stores.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Ken
                  madonna RE: Ken Aug 4, 2005 09:39 PM

                  I was intersted in stocking up on vanilla in Mexico. I had put a post about it on the international board and had many responses. People warned me about toxins in mexican vanilla. so i wanted to pass on the information. The toxin is called coumarin.

                  Link: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/0...

                  1. re: madonna
                    Nyleve RE: madonna Aug 5, 2005 09:50 PM

                    I bought a big bottle of vanilla in Mexico and, after using it a few times, retired it to the back of the cupboard. It had a funny, chocolatey-cinnamony taste that was not vanilla-y at all. Definitely something wrong there.

                    1. re: Nyleve
                      Nyleve RE: Nyleve Jul 7, 2006 02:16 PM

                      I had exactly the same thing. It definitely didn't taste or smell like normal vanilla. I still have most of the large bottle left and occasionally I'll throw a glug of it into a pot of boiling water if I want to do some air freshening. But even then, it's not a vanilla scent. Chocolatey-cinnamony describes it perfectly. And not in a particularly good way either.

                      1. re: Nyleve
                        scottso RE: Nyleve Jul 9, 2006 02:22 AM

                        About a year ago I heard, there were some warnings about dangerous ingredients in some Mexican vanillas. Maybe someone can remember and fill in the blanks.

                        1. re: scottso
                          Nyleve RE: scottso Jul 9, 2006 05:28 PM

                          I think it was some sort of additive - don't remember the name. But I suspect that wasn't the problem with the nasty Mexican vanilla I bought (like an idiot at the airport what was I thinking). I think it was just nasty vanilla.

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