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Friday, December 11, 2009

Vanilla Bean

Today I cut open my very first vanilla beans! (Sidenote: I’m almost ashamed to admit this. Seems like something I should have done before, right? Sometimes this blog feels more like confession than a food blog!)

vanilla bean split web

I can’t tell you exactly what I am using this vanilla for (you’ll find out next week!), but I can share the vanilla itself with you today.

vanilla bean and seeds web

The point of this post is that using vanilla beans is EASY. I don’t know what I was expecting. I guess I thought the beans would be harder to cut through, and that the seeds might be tricky to get out. I was happy to discover that using fresh vanilla beans is a simple and painless process – just slice down one side (it cuts easily) and scrape out the seeds. And it sure smells good while you’re doing it! So, if you are scared like I was…don’t be!


  1. Using vanilla bean really makes a difference in desserts, make you want to never use vanilla extract again!

  2. I bought a vanilla bean for the first time ever a few days ago, and still haven’t used it. Can’t wait to see what you do with yours!

  3. 3

    I’ve always been too afraid to try them. Okay, I’ll give it a whirl after this holiday season. I’ve actually always wanted to try a savory dish with vanilla beans. Ideas?

  4. 4
    Shannon Sword

    I tried just last week to use vanilla bean in caramels. I bought the bean the same day I intended to use it. BIG MISTAKE. It was hard as a rock. (How are you supposed to know if it is soft?) So I sat it in some water and microwaved it in the water.. it was bad. The pod broke in multiple places but I was still able scrape out some seeds. Online it said to let the bean sit in milk for 2+ days. I just didn’t have that kind of time. I am glad you found soft ones to start!

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    that is SO interesting…perhaps there was a reason I had some fear, eh?

    I have a Penzey’s spice store in town, which is where I bought mine. I’ll have to ask them about this…and then report back. hmmmmmmm….. you’re right, I was fortunate to have some nice soft ones. they were SO easy to cut through! okay, I”m on the case!

  6. Every time I read a Martha magazine there’s some recipe that calls for Vanilla Beans and I always want to go buy some. Any ideas for where to find them?

  7. A beautiful tribute! A touching and heartfelt post and a yummy dish!

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