Every drop of McCormick® vanilla is crafted with your taste buds in mind. Use it to enhance baked goods, savory sauces and hot or cold beverages. You’ll quickly see why its signature bourbon-vanilla flavor and warm, floral aroma are loved around the globe.
WHAT IS VANILLA?
Vanilla is a captivating flavor that’s derived from the vanilla bean. Known for its sweetness and flavor-enhancing ability, vanilla is one of the most popular flavors around the world. Vanilla is a versatile ingredient that’s available in many forms, including vanilla bean paste, vanilla syrup, pure extract, vanilla beans, vanilla sugar and vanilla salt.
WHERE DOES VANILLA COME FROM?
The origins of vanilla available in today’s grocery stores or spice markets typically hails from Mexico, Madagascar and Tahiti. Vanilla is derived from the seed pot of the Vanilla planifolia orchid. Like the flavor profiles of chocolate, coffee and wine, vanilla varieties exhibit distinct characteristics shaped by diverse environmental factors, methods for curing and species of the vanilla plant.
WHAT IS VANILLA BEAN?
Vanilla seeds are nestled within long pods from a vanilla plant, which are also referred to as “vanilla beans.” If using a vanilla pod for a recipe, you’d need to scrape the seeds from inside the “bean.” Additionally, vanilla bean is the name of a flavor that’s used to describe a vanilla-forward dessert with specks of vanilla bean peppered throughout, such as ice cream or an iced cookie.
WHAT IS VANILLA EXTRACT & HOW DO I MAKE VANILLA EXTRACT?
Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient used in many recipes, including a variety of baked goods and desserts like cakes, brownies, ice creams and puddings. Made by macerating vanilla beans that have been soaked in a solution of water and ethyl alcohol. By incorporating this type of alcohol, the vanilla flavor can fully be extracted from the steeped vanilla beans.
WHAT DOES VANILLA EXTRACT DO?
Vanilla extract is used as a flavoring agent in various desserts, baked goods and even some savory recipes. By chemically infusing its flavor into the mixture, vanilla extract accentuates the qualities of other ingredients, bringing them to life. Vanilla extract delivers a stronger, more complex flavor than its cheaper, artificially flavored counterpart, known as vanilla essence.
One of vanilla extract’s most significant contributions is its ability to lessen the scent of raw eggs. Therefore, any egg-heavy dish benefits from a splash of fragrant vanilla extract.
DOES VANILLA EXTRACT GO BAD?
Concerning shelf life, pure vanilla extract doesn’t truly spoil. However, exposure to excessive moisture, light and heat can affect the flavor and aroma of vanilla extract over time. On the other hand, imitation vanilla extract is likely to decrease in quality and flavor over a long period of time.
If you suspect your vanilla extract has expired, you can still use it, although the flavor will not be as pronounced.
WHAT DOES VANILLA TASTE LIKE?
With its creamy, sweet, floral taste that’s full of fruity notes, vanilla has a multifaceted flavor that’s loved around the world. In addition to its naturally earthy undertone, certain varieties of vanilla may present a buttery or rum-like essence. Vanilla has also been known to exhibit mild hints of prune-like flavors, as its essentially derived from beans or fruit.
FLAVORS THAT GO WITH VANILLA:
Add even more flavor to your meals with herbs and spices that go with vanilla, including:
- Nutmeg: Nutmeg’s sweet distinctive flavor is traditional in gingerbread, eggnog and rice pudding. Add a pinch to scalloped potatoes, creamed spinach and béchamel sauce. With that being said below are some Nutmeg recipes you won't be able to resist!
- Cinnamon: Our pure cinnamon lends a warm, sweet aroma to everything from morning toast to cookies, and it also has a savory side, with earthy, mahogany-colored flavors. McCormick Cinnamon begins as bark peeled from the base of cinnamon trees grown in Indonesia. We are the only company to have facilities there. This means we are able to clean, dry and sort right there and not wait to be imported to US.
- Ginger: Ginger is one of those intriguing spices that can walk the fine line between savory and sweet. The very finest ginger comes from small holder farmers on one to two acre plots of land off the Malabar Coast of India. Ginger has enjoyed some unusual uses, including warding off the plague during Henry VIII’s time. In the 19th century, ginger was commonly sprinkled on top of beer or ale and then stirred into the drink with a hot poker. Today, ginger is an essential ingredient in all kinds of sweet and savory dishes.
- Mint: Refreshing spearmint adds cool flavor to beverages, spring vegetables, or fruit and grain salads. A traditional seasoning for lamb, stews and marinades.
- Allspice: Allspice’s flavor evokes a blend of nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Add to desserts such as cookies, cakes and fruit pies, as well as savory jerk chicken.
HOW LONG DO SPICES LAST?
While dried herbs and spices typically last for 1–2 years, there are some exceptions worth noting when it comes to the shelf life of spices. Maintain the freshness of your spices and herbs with these helpful storage tips.
GRAB YOUR VANILLA PRODUCTS!
- McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract
- McCormick Gourmet Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
- McCormick Gourmet All Natural Madagascar Vanilla Beans
- McCormick Small Batch Pure Vanilla Extract
- McCormick Concentrated Vanilla Flavor
- McCormick Premium Vanilla Flavor
- McCormick Clear Vanilla Flavor
AND TRY THESE RECIPES THAT USE VANILLA:
- Ultimate Vanilla Cupcakes
- Ultimate Vanilla Cheesecake
- Vanilla Rich Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Vanilla Sugar Cookies
- Wedding White Frosting
Want to create a meal plan for your vanilla recipes? Need help planning your weekly meals and want to try new recipes? Save your favorite food, dessert, drink recipes and organize your ingredients with the McCormick Meal Planner.