When The Husband and I were first married, we lived in a less than desirable part of town (I once saw someone ‘jogging’ down the alley with a TV on his shoulder — great for those more intense workouts, you know!) with very interesting neighbors, the kind that could be the fodder for several books. One of the more colorful characters and one of my favorites was B. He was always very kind and polite to me, though he looked quite rough. He enjoyed the simple pleasures — his Harley, his sports car, his beer and weed. You could tell when he was smoking — all the doors and windows were shut, the curtains were drawn, and you could practically get high from the exhaust of his swamp cooler. He was busted by the DEA and ATF twice during our 8 mos at the apartment. I never inquired as to his sources because I really didn’t want to know.
But a good source of vanilla beans, now there’s something worth finding out. A year ago Cookie Baker Lynn posted about vanilla beans and I bookmarked it to check into later. About six months later I finally bought a pound of vanilla beans from Saffron.com. Yes, that’s right. A pound! Now, if you are used to buying your beans in those jars ranging in price from $7-20 with only 2-3 beans in them, you may be wondering what lottery I won. But this is an amazing source for excellent beans at prices that make using them only a little more expensive than good eggs.
They arrived in a box with a golden foil wrapping around the vanilla. I inhaled deeply, just sniffing the package periodically for a couple of days before I finally opened it. I think The Husband was afraid I was going to start snorting lines of vanilla seeds Mmmmm, it smelled so good! I finally opened the package and the beans are just luscious. And there are so many of them! No need to skimp! So, of course, I’ve been adding them to everything. I make vanilla yogurt about twice a month, I toss them into cupcakes and frosting, pastry cream, and of course, ice cream and frozen yogurt.
Because Saffron.com has a minimum order of $12 and a pound of vanilla beans is $20 (plus shipping — $8.55 in my case), I chose the full pound as the most cost effective choice. If you think you will not have the need for roughly 125 vanilla beans (you just aren’t being creative enough), then consider buying a pound and splitting it with a couple of friends. You could have 40 beans for the cost of buying just a few at the grocery store.
Filed under: Shopping