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Calgary - Affordable Vanilla Beans?

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  • yen Oct 2, 2007 09:42 AM
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It's fall, which means pies, poaching fruit, and a variety of other harvest delights. What this means though, is exhaustive use of vanilla bean. The issue? $6 - $8 a stalk at Community Natural Foods is a bit excessive.

Does anyone know where in town one can buy a good quantity of vanilla beans at a reasonable price? Thanks.

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  1. have you tried lina's? i remember seeing them there at the end of an aisle near the deli side, but don't recall the price (other than the fact that they seemed really expensive. but maybe not 6-8/stalk expensive...)

    8 Replies
    1. re: marcopolo

      Thanks, i'll check there next time im in the area!

      1. re: yen

        I can't remmeber the price either, but they are there. Just make sure you look at them first as the last time I bought them there, they were pretty dried out. I nevre pay attention to stuff like that, which is how i ended up with cookies from the other italian place 18 months past their sell by date!! You'd think that the dust would ahve tipped me off.

        youve been so quiet yen, busy season?

        1. re: alex8alot

          Nod, definitely an issue with vanilla beans, as at that price, not a lot of people buy them/use them. They can be sitting around for a long long time. Great tip!

          As for quiet, well, i've was away for 5 weeks in Asia eating, so that didnt help. Im also kind of tired of answering the same questions over and over again - especially when they have been well answered by a whole bevy of people in the recent past. Lastly, i;ve been cooking a lot more (all the wild game, harvest vegetables, and herbs i get from my good friend in the fall), and so i don't have as much to contribute. Try Vogghlio's if you get the chance though - it was awesome :)

          1. re: yen

            well if you do find some great secret source, please share. And how come you aren't sharing any of your bounty cooking on the home cooking board? Where can I get a friend like that? ;) and I did try vogglio's, and I completely agree!

            1. re: alex8alot

              No help to you Yen in Calgary but as far as price goes, same situation up here in Edmonton.

              Vanilla beans were about $6.50 when I was shopping at Spinelli's this afternoon.

              I was there to pick up some dried mushrooms, truffle oil and arborio rice as we are heading off for our annual vacation on Vancouver Island. Yes, really roughing it.....

              Was raiding the pantry for saffron and other spices and came across one very "sorry" looking vanilla bean stalk...don't remember when I bought that.

              1. re: Bob Mac

                I think we need to convince the Asians to start cooking with vanilla - then it'll be cheap and plentiful at T&T :)

                Have a great vacation Bob.

                1. re: yen

                  LOL...that very thought came to mind when I was typing my reply.

                  I cannot stand the week-end parking madness at WEM's T & T location but if I can slip away during the week, it sure makes a difference.

      2. re: marcopolo

        I was at Lina's last night. They carry Tosca and another brand Sun-something? Both are $8.95 per bean. Williams-Sonoma carries them too...although I expect they're more rather than less expensive than Lina's... but they also carry vanilla bean paste and other Neilsen-Massey vanillas... Tahitian and Mexican come to mind.

        HTH

      3. A Touch of Italy had 2 stalks for 6.95, the store is located in the same building as Il Sogno, entrance on Meredith Road

        1. Vanilla Beans should not be that expensive.
          As a vanilla beans supplier working with the farmers at the source, It's always irritating to hear how vanilla beans are sold at so high price in the US and Canada while we sell at a very low price to the importers.

          Importers buy from us at $ 20/Lb and probably resells it to at $60/lb and the resellers sell it at $6-8/bean?? there is around 120-150 beans in 1 lb! In the end they are the one who makes the most margins, while we, who work directly with farmers ensuring the quality from harvest, makes a penny. Maybe we should think about selling directly to end users at a very affordable price to bring the prices down in the USA and Canada.

          Visit our website http://www.rempah-rempah.com/
          We have an abundant of vacuumed pack vanilla beans gourmet in our warehouse that I can offer you at $15/Lb - Delivered. Free delivery from the source, Indonesia.
          5-7 days lead time via FEDEX.

          Write to: info@rempah-rempah.com
          Vanilla Beans Gourmet should aways be affordable!!!