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Old 11-14-2012, 05:51 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Halbrust View Post
I use the big bottle of Mexican vanilla whenever I need vanilla.
ICK!!! I suppose you would also go low end on other things.

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It may be hard to get the quantity correct if the recipe is calling for actual pods.
Not so... Typically 1 teaspoon of extract equals 1 vanilla bean/pod... Pretty easy to convert that way.

BTW, you can get a half POUND of vanilla beans (Premium Bourbon-Madagascar beans) for ~$27. The same source sells smaller amounts too. I paid about $7 for 7 beans the first time I got some from them. They also have 16 beans for $12, or 1/4# (27 beans) for ~$16.

I've made my own extract from some of the beans I got (1/2#) that beats the pants off the Mexican extract. Just be sure to use REALLY CLEAN vodka when you make your own. I ended up using Skyy vodka due to the filtering and distillation counts it goes through. Pretty inexpensive stuff too.
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Old 11-14-2012, 07:54 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Halbrust
I use the big bottle of Mexican vanilla whenever I need vanilla.

2 things to remember:
It may be hard to get the quantity correct if the recipe is calling for actual pods.
The "pure vanilla" is usually 80 - 100 proof
True mexican vanilla cost my grandmother a kidney. Just so happened due to lack of regulation the mexican vanilla usually contains coumarin (think coumadin, blood thinner). Developed a bleed within two weeks, she used the vanilla with half n half in her coffee and miscellaneous baking. She had used just three ounces. I know, because I was with her when she bought the bottle in Tijuana, and tossed out her empty McCormick's bottle...and I also took mexican vanilla bottle to hospital because the her clotting times were off the chart and they asked if she took coumadin. I said NO, but there is a bottle of mexican vanilla (that had coumaRin on label)...I got no further and they sent me out the door to go get it. By the time I got back they had stabilized her clotting times, and discovered her kidney was destroyed due to internal bleeding. Upon analysis vanilla had more than 300 times the accepted amount of coumarin that the US would allow. Hospital said there did not seem to be a standard level in the vanilla and the highest they had seen was 900 times higher and a two year old boy died in his sleep of a brain bleed after drinking half an ounce. Mom was baking, son wanted a taste, so she put some in a glass. He drank it. I was told it has to do with how some companies in Mexico process the bean and makes their vanilla. Sister-in-law went to Juarez last Summer, brought back several 'coumarin vanillas'. We destroyed them and she called everyone who went with her. So, please know what your mexican vanilla is made of.
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Old 11-14-2012, 10:27 PM   #43
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IMO, if you're going to use vanilla extract, make it yourself. Use the best beans you can get (as I posted earlier, they're NOT expensive) and you'll love the results. I used about 2oz of beans in a pint mason jar, filled it with Skyy vodka and let it go about 8 months. Gave a bottle to mom the other weekend, had her smell it (I've not used the extract so much, so wanted her take on it)... She lit up with a smile. It's far better than any of the others she's used. Including a bottle she got from her boss, who's so cheap it hurts.

I'll have to have her check the big bottle she's been mixing with other extract. If it lists coumadin on it, I'll have her dump it all... Thanks for the 411 on that.

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Fermenting
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:26 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saramc View Post
True mexican vanilla cost my grandmother a kidney. Just so happened due to lack of regulation the mexican vanilla usually contains coumarin (think coumadin, blood thinner). Developed a bleed within two weeks, she used the vanilla with half n half in her coffee and miscellaneous baking. She had used just three ounces. I know, because I was with her when she bought the bottle in Tijuana, and tossed out her empty McCormick's bottle...and I also took mexican vanilla bottle to hospital because the her clotting times were off the chart and they asked if she took coumadin. I said NO, but there is a bottle of mexican vanilla (that had coumaRin on label)...I got no further and they sent me out the door to go get it. By the time I got back they had stabilized her clotting times, and discovered her kidney was destroyed due to internal bleeding. Upon analysis vanilla had more than 300 times the accepted amount of coumarin that the US would allow. Hospital said there did not seem to be a standard level in the vanilla and the highest they had seen was 900 times higher and a two year old boy died in his sleep of a brain bleed after drinking half an ounce. Mom was baking, son wanted a taste, so she put some in a glass. He drank it. I was told it has to do with how some companies in Mexico process the bean and makes their vanilla. Sister-in-law went to Juarez last Summer, brought back several 'coumarin vanillas'. We destroyed them and she called everyone who went with her. So, please know what your mexican vanilla is made of.
Wow, I have used mexican vanilla for 20 years...it did have coumaRin on the label, I will have to go a check my last two bottles. Thank you so much for that info, I had no idea whatsoever. I would have never even thought to read the bottles. I will also begin to start making my own extract, because that is what my lifestyle is about...the fewer ingredients the better. It never dawned on me how inexpensive vanilla beans would be, online, and the thought never crossed my mind to make vanilla extract. Thanks, this is why I love this site! -Annie
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