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!!