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Return of the Trader Joe's vanilla paste

MichaelB Dec 6, 2006 03:07 AM

A few years ago TJ's had these great jars of vanilla bean paste, just like vanilla extract but with the bonus of all those sexy vanilla flecks. I unwisely fell in love with it but then, like so many of us TJ's lovers do, got burned when it disappeared from the shelves without even a parting glance. I'd look everytime I went, ask friends if they'd seen vanilla paste, even stoop to asking the staff, but for years there was nothing, not a trace. Then last month when I'd finally given up hope, thrown out that empty old jar that still smelled so good and moved on, there it was, back on the shelf, as lovely as ever. Trader Joe's vanilla paste, all is forgiven, I know this time you're going to stay forever, right? RIGHT??

Vital information: It's $5 for a 4 ounce jar, the ingredient list is identical to the Nielsen-Massey jar which goes for about $12 (also for 4 ounces) -- I assume it IS Nielsen-Massey, just repackaged. It's less a substitute for real vanilla beans than a really nice alternative to vanilla extract, especially when you want the flecks to show up in the final product.

  1. p
    piratejenny23 Feb 22, 2009 10:05 AM

    i haven't tried this stuff yet but i also found it at kitchenkrafts.com--for a more reliable, year-round supply :)

    can't wait to try it it ice cream...or rice pudding? mmmm!

    1. r
      RoxyGrl Apr 22, 2007 12:34 AM

      Wow - I just used the last of mine tonight and was sad. Then I logged in and saw this thread. Yay - I'm going to look for it tomorrow!

      2 Replies
      1. re: RoxyGrl
        c
        chinaberry28 Sep 6, 2007 09:32 AM

        Well I went to Trader Joe's yesterday and looked everywhere and did not see the vanilla paste. My friend, who lives nowhere near a Trader Joe's, want some. Any one else find it there?

        1. re: chinaberry28
          c
          Cathy Sep 6, 2007 10:56 AM

          It has been seasonal, for Christmas baking, as mentioned above. Be patient. It is only September...

      2. jen kalb Dec 6, 2006 12:41 PM

        I have a bottle of this paste - what is it particularly good for?

        1 Reply
        1. re: jen kalb
          b
          baloo Dec 6, 2006 01:01 PM

          It is a really fabulous addition to homemade vanilla ice cream. It is also great in vanilla puddings or custards, perhaps creme brulee. It would probably be good in baked goods as well, but the flecks of the bean in the paste show up much better in a custardy type of item. I think it is the same as the Nielson-Massey (same consistency and taste), probably just packaged for TJ's.

        2. JugglerDave Dec 6, 2006 12:34 PM

          Yay, we love this stuff.

          Is it possible the return is for the "holiday baking season" and just doesn't sell at TJ year-round, like their fancy packaged Belgian chocolates etc. which only show up for the holidays? If so, stock up, I'm sure this stuff lasts for years in the jar.

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