HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
What's your latest food project? Get great advice
TELL US

Mexican vanilla...

c
Clarkafella Nov 2, 2008 07:41 AM

Someone gave us a bottle of Mexican vanilla as a gift. We also bought a new Cuisinart stand mixer recently. We would like to use the new mixer and the new vanilla to make some delicious baked goods, but have just started on a new diet! And I absolutely *hate* sugar substitutes!

Does anyone know of any recipes that wouldn't be too terrible? My wife will let me slide some on the calorie thing, but only a little!

  1. CadienBelle Feb 25, 2009 04:50 PM

    The bad vanilla from Mexico and other places like Haiti has tonka extract from the tonka beans. The source of coumadin.
    Not all Mexican vanilla is made this way.

    At the link below is an FDA report of the processors of the imitation vanilla that is not to be allowed in the US, thought it still makes it past the border. Scroll half way down the report and the manufacturers will be listed on the left.

    http://www.fda.gov/ora/fiars/ora_impo...

    I use La Vencedora Mexican Pure Vanilla and have for years. It has no coumarin and is FDA approved to be sold in the US. And anyway, this is mainly for vanilla produced in South America and the last time I was there Mexico was in Central America...

    1. sarah galvin Feb 25, 2009 03:43 PM

      I have received a bottle of clear vanilla (Mexican) as a gift. What exactly is clear vanilla? Bottle says 'no coumarain', aged and organically grown.

      1. d
        DGresh Feb 25, 2009 01:42 PM

        Just wanted to thank the Chowhound community; we were recently in mexico and I wondered at the pint jars of vanilla for about $5. I had recalled vaguely reading something about it here that it wasn't necessarily safe, so I passed it by (what would i do with a pint of vanilla anyway?). When I got home I looked it up and learned the dangers. One of those, if it seems to good to be true... I didn't read the ingredient lists, but these bottles were sold in places that I wouldn't expect the highest quality...

        1. j
          jerzzy Nov 2, 2008 08:11 PM

          Well I know my vanilla is pure!
          This thread reminded me I started fermentting 2 madagascar vanilla beans last christmas in about 4 oz of Ketel 1 vodka.
          Just took the bottle out and the aroma is amazing!!
          Will be fun using that this holiday!

          1. c
            Clarkafella Nov 2, 2008 12:03 PM

            Thanks for all the great replies! The bottle of vanilla is a brand called "Los Cinco Soles Mexico Natural Gourmet Vanilla" and it says on the label that it does not contain Coumarin.

            I'm really hoping to find some kind of cinnamon rolls or sticky buns that taste divine and have 0 calories or fat. Wish me luck on that, huh?

            1 Reply
            1. re: Clarkafella
              nofunlatte Nov 2, 2008 01:48 PM

              You should be able to make low-fat cinnamon buns. I recall that Eating Well magazine had such a recipe a gazillion years ago (before they ceased publication before resuming it back in 2003 or so). I made them and people really liked them, but in my move from Iowa to Indiana, I pitched all cooking magazines and packed only the cookbooks. Aarghh! Anyway, you can probably google for such a recipe.

            2. Pastryrocks Nov 2, 2008 09:08 AM

              My favorite flavour is vanilla; I use at least one vanilla bean a week. During the holidays I go through a dozen of more. Vanilla is native to Central America, and the Aztecs used vanilla and cocoa beans before the arrival of Europeans.

              What has happen over the years is that Mexican vanilla has fallen out of favor due to all the cheap imitations. Unfortunately you need be carful with vanilla extract, special from Mexico. Quite often the cheaper Mexican vanilla extract has Coumarin in it, which is harmful. You can find some info on Coumarin here http://www.gourmetsleuth.com/vanilla.htm

              Nielsen Massey does sell Mexican vanilla extract. Imho they make the best vanilla extract, though I rarely ever use extract.

              When ever a family member heads down to Mexico I end up getting a bottle or two of Mexican vanilla extract. Unless I’m 100% sure that the vanilla extract does not contain Coumarin I end up not using it.

              8 Replies
              1. re: Pastryrocks
                Delucacheesemonger Nov 2, 2008 09:13 AM

                Generally, not always, Mexican vanilla with coumarin, will be called vanillin, not vanilla. Bought a couple large bottles last time in Mexico, and it is still fabulous.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  Pastryrocks Nov 2, 2008 10:00 AM

                  Without a doubt I’m sure that there is fine vanilla extract to be found in Mexico. I don’t wish to knock Mexican vanilla extract, or even extract. But unfortunately as you pointed out “Generally, not always,” this is the issue.

                  Sitting in a doctors office last year I read an article about the Mexican vanilla industry and it claimed that things where getting better. However, the magazine was almost 12 years old last year when I read it. I wish I could remember what magazine it was in, so that I could acquire it. Also, I’ll take a look and see where my Saveur magazine is, they did an article on Mexican Vanilla a few years ago. I’m sure there will be a source listed for Mexican vanilla extract aside from Neilson Massey.

                  And to answer Clarkafella question, I use vanilla extract in brownies here is a recipe which I’m fond of http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/reci... You could easily double the amount of vanilla extract used in the recipe.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                    p
                    pedal Nov 2, 2008 11:11 AM

                    I bought two small bottles of Mexican vanilla in a dollar store last year while on vacation in Tucson. The name labels states "Vanilla Maya Vanille". I haven't used it yet, and after reading these posts, am now uncertain if I SHOULD use it. I checked the ingredient list, and vanillin is listed as the first ingredient. There's no mention of tonka beans or coumarin anywhere in the ingredient list or on the bottle's label. I looked up vanillin, and it's defined as: a fragrant, white, crystalline substance, (CHO)(OH)CHCHO, produced from the vanilla bean or made synthetically. Where did you hear that Mexican vanilla with coumarin is generally called vanillin?

                    1. re: pedal
                      Delucacheesemonger Nov 2, 2008 12:11 PM

                      Not that vanilla with coumarin is vanillin, but that synthetic vanilla is vanillin,
                      thus not natural nor as tasty, artificial. The coumarin is a bad added bonus sometimes. Wish it were easier or clearer, but was told to 'know' my source for Mexican vanilla, and if bottle said vanilla it was, if said vanillin, was fake. To make it tougher, they are both very inexpensive, but fake less expensive.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                        p
                        pedal Nov 4, 2008 04:21 AM

                        The label on the bottle states it's vanilla, but vanillin is in the list of ingredients. If there's no coumarin listed, doesn't that mean that there wouldn't be any coumarin in the vanilla?

                        1. re: pedal
                          Delucacheesemonger Nov 4, 2008 09:13 AM

                          Seems they used to say 'no coumarin' if none was in product. Regardless, if vanillin, fake and would not bother, not for health, but for lack of true vanilla taste

                  2. re: Pastryrocks
                    j
                    janeh Nov 2, 2008 09:58 AM

                    Pastryrocks and anyone else needing vanilla beans - Last week Costco had packages with two tubes of several vanilla beans each at a very reasonable (I don't remember how much) price.

                    1. re: Pastryrocks
                      a
                      adrixita Jul 6, 2009 10:33 AM

                      You should try Gaya Vanilla is great! I have been using this brand and is pretty great... is from Mexico and I think the company started in 1800's not very sure about the year but I started using this brand just because of the history of the company and I really love this one and doesn't have Coumarin.

                      Is kind of hard finding in stores but I found it @ Amazon...http://www.chow.com/images/button-pos...

                    2. todao Nov 2, 2008 09:06 AM

                      You may want to read this ...

                      http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20081031/...

                      1. j
                        jpc8015 Nov 2, 2008 07:57 AM

                        Mix some of your vanilla into whipped cream and put it on some berries.

                        1. nofunlatte Nov 2, 2008 07:48 AM

                          Many biscotti recipes are relatively benign, diet-wise. Anything meringue-y should be okay too (with respect to fat, not sugar). Is it the fat, sugar, or both that you are trying to cut back on?

                          Show Hidden Posts