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Where do you buy your real vanilla beans?

  • g

Thank you!

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    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

      I'll second Penzey's but I also had a nice one from Costco last year.

      1. re: BostonZest

        Third. Three plump and not-folded beans for $8. Can't beat 'em.

      2. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

        Penzey's has an online presence as well if you don't live near Arlington.

        1. re: rmperry

          And Penzeys now has free shipping on orders over $30. I don't seem to have any trouble hitting that number :)

      3. Costco has them, you get 2 vials with 5 pods in each, $10.99. A great deal.

        1. Christina's on Cambridge St. in Inman Square. I used beans from there last winter to make, literally, the best vanilla extract I've ever had.

          1 Reply
          1. re: tlk

            I also get them at Christina's and love their vanilla beans. Plus, I load up with other treats when I go.

          2. I think that Harvest Co-op has them.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BackBayGirl

              Yesterday Harvest had them for 2.99 ea. They look good although I haven't split them yet.

            2. I've gotten decent ones from Trader Joe's.

              1 Reply
              1. Galka;

                Have bought many vanilla beans on ebay, of all places. Cannot remember the name of the merchant, but my preference is for Tahitian beans, which I find to be more complex and nuanced. About 32.00 for 100 beans. I freeze them and have found no decrease in quality.

                2 Replies
                1. re: aadesmd

                  We brought back a bunch of vanilla beans from Tahiti (actually the island of Ta'Haa) when we were there. The guy at the vanilla farm where I bought them suggested storing them in bottles of rum or vodka. This works really well. You take out what you need, and then return the rest to the booze. Of course you can drink the vanilla rum or vodka as well, just decant a bit more into the bottle to keep it full.

                  1. re: aadesmd

                    Same here. Super cheap, great quality. Go figure.

                  2. Online. Prices totally blow away anything you can get locally. I use http://saffron.com (Not affiliated in any way, just a happy customer.)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: davis_sq_pro

                      I got all pissed off at paying 10bucks for a single skinny dried out bean at the grocery store, and went to amazon, where I got 1/2 lb of beautiful, fragrant, plump beans for about 20 dollars. Sealed some in plastic for future use, gave away handfulls, and put a bunch in a bottle of vodka just for fun. I still have the grocery store bean in its glass bottle just to remind me of what a rip-off it was.

                      1. re: tdaaa

                        Yah, got a gift of vanilla beans similar to what tdaaa describes. I now have the largest Mason jar of vanilla extract known to man. (It's fancy lineage too - used Ketel One as the base.) I intend to disburse it as part of my will, because its contents will surely outlast me.

                    2. I've bought vanilla beans at Capone's in Union Sq. for a little over $1 a piece and they were fresh and delicious. I bought several at the Cambridge store last month, and they were pretty dried out. They broke into several pieces when I split them.

                      'll stick with Costco or the Somerville Capone's.

                      1. We made vanilla gelato on Sunday with beans from Whole Foods - totally delicious.

                        1. Got mine to make homemade vanilla extract online here:


                          Fresh, plump, shipped in a vacuum pack, quickly. ~ $1.25 apiece if I recall correctly.

                          1. Just got a great deal on these at WF today. 3 gorgeous sticky ones from Madegascar (Madecasse brand) for only $5.99! Don't know how long the sale will be on for, but I used one today for a rice pudding and it was good. They are wrapped in a ziploc bag, inside a jar, so sealed well.

                            BTW, I really like the Madecasse company for chocolate. Good fair trade practices and some of the best chocolate I've ever had......