Almost everyone has a bottle of vanilla in their cupboard. We often take this humble flavoring for granted but adding vanilla to a recipe can have a marked effect on the end product. Not only does it add the distinct vanilla flavor but it boosts other flavors. In small amounts it enhances chocolate, coffee, fruit and nut flavors. When used with citrus it covers the acid bite.
Nielsen-Massey produces excellent vanilla products. We recently tasted two.
Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract does not contain bourbon. The term is a geographic reference to the Bourbon Islands – Madagascar, Comoro, Reunion, Seychelles and Mauritius – off the coast of Africa. These islands are one of the four major vanilla producing areas in the world. This product has a vibrant vanilla flavor and aroma. It is USDA certified organic, gluten free, and kosher (cRc).
Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder is a very interesting product. It contains maltodextrin (a powdered sweetener less sweet than sugar) and vanilla bean extracts. It can be substituted in equal amounts for liquid vanilla extract and it is alcohol free. We used it on French toast and to flavor coffee. It can be sprinkled on toast with butter to satisfy the sweet tooth of a dieter. It is gluten free and kosher (cRc).
Vanilla products do not need to provide a nutrition label because they provide little or no calories and offer only trace amounts of any nutrients. The main purpose of vanilla is to add flavor to a food.
Nielsen-Massey is a brand worth trying.