quality vanilla pods @ Costco
I know this is after the holiday baking season, but still worth checking out.
Costco has the Rodelle Vanilla pods 10 for about $11. (Years ago I paid close to $4 for a single bean at a specialty gourmet store, egad!) Costco usually only stocks the beans in the fall. This year they are nicely packaged nicely in 2 glass vials. It would have been a great gift (or still can be) for the baker in your life. You could buy the the package to split.....keeping one vial for yourself and one to give away.
I have been quite impressed with the quality of Rodelle vanilla beans. They are packaged as "Bourbon Madagascar" beans. The pods are thick, moist, supple, long & heavily scented. I still have a couple pods left from the batch I purchased last year from Costco and they are still supple (I've kept them in their glass bottle with the top twisted tight). They match the quality of the beans I was given by my sister who vacationed in Tahiti years back.
I've used the beans for creme brulee, rolled sugar cookies, delicate tuiles, frosting & pastry creme to name a few. I also either throw the spent pods into my sugar cannister where it does great things scenting it (though it does cause the sugar to clump a bit till it dries out, but I don't mind). Or, I bend the empty pods in half and shove them into my bulk & small vanilla extract bottles and whenever I need a teaspoon of extract I give the bottle a shake and I can see the tiny seeds in my measuring spoons.
What recipes are folks using their vanilla beans in?
Yeah the price at the grocery store is out of sight for a few dried shriveled pods. I have had good results buying Madagascar Grade A Boubon vanilla pods from an ebay source. I think I paid around $40 shipped for 1 lb. Well over 100 pods. They are long moist and fragrant.
A couple of years ago, prices for vanilla pods skyrocketed for a little while (possibly due to weather phenomena?) and I can recall that I purchased a single Spice Islands pod for over six bucks. I don't have, or need, a Costco membership, but with that deal I might just have to have somebody pick some up for me at the neighborhood behemoth.
vodka. There was a thread here on infused vodka, I think. Vanilla vodka with orange juice --- fancy boozy orange Julius, thank you!
I like to add vanilla to a homemade chai tea, too.
Thanks for the Costco tip - we just joined.
Thanks for the tip...I need vanilla beans and was planning a Costco trip this weekend anyhow..hope the AZ Costcos have the same item!
I just found the beans in Costco this afternoon. I didn't really expect to see them there, but thought I would look anyway. I am thrilled. I am using them for homemade Kahlua.