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Where to find Fresh Vanilla Beans?

Does anyone know where to find fresh vanilla beans?

I have a recipe that asks for fresh vanilla beans.. I don't think I've ever seen them in my life...

Has anyone ever bought or seen them in the GTA?


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  1. Bruno's if you need one or two. Otherwise eBay for a dozen at a similar price.

    1. Dominion carries Vanilla Beans in the baking goods section.

      1. Bulk Barn has them as well. They're usually on the counter next to the register in a glass tube. $ 4.95 for two the last time I bought them.

        1. The Big Carrot has them in the bulk section and they were an insanely low price last time I bought them, like .99 each.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hoagy294

            I picked up those at Big Carrot. Great deal. Also good deal on quality beans at Domino's downstairs at SLM.

          2. I've seen them at House of Spice in Kensington. I think they're $4 each or per pair, I can't recall. Unfortunately, the ones I've seen locally are either prohibitively expensive, or dried out, or both.

            I picked up 20 beautiful ones on eBay for about $10, including shipping. You can search the home cooking board for others who have done the same.

            1. As far as I know Vanilla beans are not really "fresh" They are dried and possibly fermented to achieve the flavor. I think the recipe would just need the beans you find in most spice catalogs.

              1. Dufflet's carries them. they are quite $$$ though..

                1. You don't want fresh ones as those are green and tasteless.
                  Besides all the places mentioned, you can get them at any Alex Farms store.

                  1. the spice trader on queen has quite likely has nice ones. i know highland farms (duff and finch), sobeys (queensway) and whole food (on avenue) have them.

                    1. My GOD! I never knew they'd be so easy to find... Wow, thanks for all the suggestions!

                      1. Pusateri's, in the baking section; what you seek usually comes in a small glass tube, often 1-2 per tube. They are not "fresh" per se but a pod you slit open and scrape the vanilla seeds out of. Gives you a more intense vanilla flavour and a teeny bit of texture from the seeds, too. Williams Sonoma also carries. Usually, any decent food store or high end cooking store will have 'em.