Vanilla Beans Cost How Much?

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The other day I was at the grocery store and since I was sans twinadoes I decided to take my time and look around a bit.  Yes, I actually do find that entertaining.  One of my favorite aisles, the baking aisle.  All those neat ingredients that seem to just call to me even though I’m really not a great baker.  That’s when I saw them.  Two sad looking vanilla beans in a little glass jar with a sticker directly below that read $14.99.  I actually had to re-read it to make sure I was reading it correctly.  People really pay that?  Seriously?  No really?  Yes, I was completely shocked at this price.  I rarely purchase vanilla beans in a store, and when I do I head to the bulk section.

Even though we are a few months away from baking season I thought I would get you all nice and informed now so you will be ready.  I don’t want to even think about any of you paying $14.99 for two little sad beans, it will give me nightmares.  Normally I buy my beans online, but if I need some right away and need to buy them I’ll look in the bulk section.  The price on the sticker might send you into shock, usually around $35 per pound, but remember, that’s PER POUND.  You are not going to need that many (that’s approximately 100 beans).  Even when I make vanilla extract I only use about 15-20.

Taking care of them is really easy, and if done properly can last up to 2 years.  I scoured a few sites that deal in vanilla beans and following are their suggestions to keeping your vanilla beans for the longest amount of time before they go bad.

  • You do not need to store in an airtight container, but you can
  • If you do keep in an airtight container, every few weeks expose them to air for a few minutes
  • Keep the container in a cool dry place (not the refrigerator)

If your beans do end up getting a little too dried out you can reconstitute them by soaking them in a little hot water for a few minutes or wrapping them in a damp paper towel and pop in the microwave for about 10 seconds.

Every so often many online stores will put the vanilla beans on sale, this can be a great place to get them especially if you know ahead of time how many you will need.  But whatever you do stop paying the ridiculous amount for a couple vanilla beans in a little container!!

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