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Where to find Fresh Vanilla Beans?

Daffyd Dec 15, 2007 10:57 AM

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?


  1. t
    The Goddess Dec 15, 2007 07:08 PM

    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.

    1. d
      Daffyd Dec 15, 2007 07:07 PM

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

      1. chocabot Dec 15, 2007 06:57 PM

        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. foodyDudey Dec 15, 2007 04:27 PM

          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. zed1984 Dec 15, 2007 04:08 PM

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

            1. Eric in NJ Dec 15, 2007 04:06 PM

              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. xtal Dec 15, 2007 03:45 PM

                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. h
                  hoagy294 Dec 15, 2007 03:41 PM

                  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
                    Mila Dec 17, 2007 04:58 AM

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

                  2. p
                    PlayWithYourFood Dec 15, 2007 02:43 PM

                    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. m
                      melissa245 Dec 15, 2007 12:13 PM

                      Dominion carries Vanilla Beans in the baking goods section.

                      1. jayt90 Dec 15, 2007 11:19 AM

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

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