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Dec 2, 2009 02:01 PM

Buying whole vanilla beans in London?

Does anyone know where I can find whola beans (pods) in London? I want to buy just a few, and I need them for Dec 16th or so....I'd rather not order them on my own, but it'd be great to find a place that regularly stocks them, or that could order them for me for that date.

I need some because I am doing a project on vanilla (yes, it's fun to study the anthropology of food!)

Dave MP

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  1. Any big supermarket. They are either in the spice rack or in the baking ingredients section. Some come in jars, some in cardboard boxes, others in cigar tubes. To be honest I find most supermarket ones to be OK, but you can get better from specialists especially mail order.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Are there any shops or specialty markets (or spice stores?) that are likely to have better-than-average ones? I am willing to go anywhere in London to get them.

      Thanks for the tip though, I'll check it out at my local supermarkets!

      Dave MP

      1. re: Dave MP

        I would think you could find good pods at Whole Foods. And there's a spice shop in Notting Hill. Seasoned Pioneers has a great selection of things online. They're packages arrive a day or two later... very fast service.

        1. re: zuriga1

          Seasoned Pioneers does seem pretty good, so I might try them.

          I did take a look at Waitrose today (Russell Sq), and they had two options - a waitrose brand Madagascar vanilla, and then another brand which was from Australia I think (although I am not sure). So that'll do if I don't find something better.

          Thanks a lot
          Dave MP

          1. re: Dave MP

            I'm glad you found something. The Seasoned Pioneers packaging is so nice-looking that I just bought a ton of things to send my daughter-in-law as her birthday present. I tried to choose spices she wouldn't find so readily in the States.

        2. re: Dave MP

          You might try mail order. There a number of outlets on line selling many different types of beans that aren't as dear as they would be at the supermarket.

      2. Try La Fromagerie at 4 Moxon Street

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