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Buying Vanilla in Mexico??

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I've heard many people talk about buying Vanilla in Mexico. What is this all about? Is it some special Vanilla?? And where is the best place to buy it....PV, Mazatlan or Cabo? Just curious :) And while I'm thinking about it....what is the best Tequila to bring back, and where should I get it???? Thank you!!

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Don't know anything about vanilla, but you should take a look at http://www.itequila.org/index.htm for information about tequila. My favorites are Tres Generaciones and Conmemorativo. As for buying it, you will usually get a better price by getting off the main tourist drag and going to a liquor store or supermarket where Mexicans shop and paying for it in pesos, not dollars.

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They grow vanilla beans there and make some awesome pure vanilla extract. It is much better than McCormick and you can probably buy a big bottle for the price of a small bottle of McCormick. Buy it at any souvenir stand. As for the tequila, I would ask the locals... who knows more about it than them?? They will be able to steer you in the right direction there.

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We always stock up on pure vanilla when visiting mexico. Once you use it, you will never even think of adding immitation vanilla to anything again. And as said, it is very inexpensive.

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The flavor is more pure vanilla ....or as my DH says...more "vanillally"..lol...and it is so cheap ..we use it regularly.

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My wife loves to buy vanilla in Mexico. Most vanilla beans in the world come from the Yucatan peninsula.

 

You can buy some very, very good vanilla in Mexico, for this reason. Be careful, you can buy some really, really lousy stuff there as well. Mexico is, shall we say, not as strict about consumer protection and food safety as the US is.

 

I have read, but can not confirm, that some of the vanilla made in Mexico is made with some solvents, used to dissolve the bean, that are not allowed in the US.

 

A google search turned this up, regarding the alledged danger of Mexican vanilla:

 

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1370/is_n8_v28/ai_15779519

 

Even so, I'm sure that my wife will buy more on our trip to the Mexican Riviera in March.

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I've heard many people talk about buying Vanilla in Mexico. What is this all about? Is it some special Vanilla?? And where is the best place to buy it....PV, Mazatlan or Cabo? Just curious :) And while I'm thinking about it....what is the best Tequila to bring back, and where should I get it???? Thank you!!

 

I make my own vanilla... its very simple.. Buy two good vanilla beans (usually from a food store (like cooksware)). I buy Madagascar beans. Cut the two beans into 4 pieces.... Add them to a small size vodka (Smirnoff works well (plastic bottle). (not the tiny bottles on the plane but I think the 85ml or 75ml bottles).(sorry not at home so I dont know the size of the bottle) Let them set for at least 5 weeks and you have the best vanilla extract!

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I make my own vanilla... its very simple.. Buy two good vanilla beans (usually from a food store (like cooksware)). I buy Madagascar beans. Cut the two beans into 4 pieces.... Add them to a small size vodka (Smirnoff works well (plastic bottle). (not the tiny bottles on the plane but I think the 85ml or 75ml bottles).(sorry not at home so I dont know the size of the bottle) Let them set for at least 5 weeks and you have the best vanilla extract!

 

I did that with our vanilla beans brought from Tahiti, only I put them in Rum. Yummmmmmmmmmmm, and it gives the best flavor when added to anything.

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We bought a small bottle of vanilla in Cozumel last yr and it has the best flavor. I live in Texas and there were numerous news reports several yrs ago about arsnic being found in vanilla purchased over the border. I seem to remember that the effected vanilla was in a huge bottle and was very inexpensive. The bottle I purchased was small and cost about 8.00, less expensive than here but not a huge amount for the cost.

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I did that with our vanilla beans brought from Tahiti, only I put them in Rum. Yummmmmmmmmmmm, and it gives the best flavor when added to anything.

 

I'll have to try it with Rum as well... What size rum did you use?

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Please be aware that you may not be getting what you think you're getting when you buy vanilla in Mexico. They don't have the strict laws like we do here. Don't be duped into buying something fake, masquerading as something real. If you're buying the inexpensive stuff, the chance is very, very high that you're not buying high quality (or real) vanilla extract. Real, high quality Mexican vanilla extract is expensive -- just like in the US.

 

http://www.vanilla.com/html/facts-mexican.html

 

An excerpt:

 

"How do you know if it's pure vanilla? There are a few tip-offs:

 

* Is it amber colored, dark and murky, or clear? Clear is pure, synthetic vanillin. It's often called "crystal vanilla." Dark and murky is synthetic vanillin, most likely ethyl vanillin derived from coal tar. It may also be dark because it contains red dye that we've banned in the U.S. or it may contain caramel coloring. If it's truly amber-colored it may be natural vanilla.

 

* What is the alcohol content? Usually the synthetics range from no alcohol to about 2% alcohol (which acts as a stabilizer). There are some vanilla-vanillin blends and some cheap-quality vanillas that have 25% alcohol, but they aren't worth buying either.

 

* How much did you pay for it? This is the biggest tip-off. If it's in a big bottle and you paid $20.00 or less, it's absolutely not vanilla extract. Pure vanilla extract usually costs more in Mexico because only one company makes quality extract, and only in small quantities."

 

 

Also, beware of courmarin!

Coumarin is a the bad guy of the vanilla industry. It is derived from the Brazilian tonka bean from Dipteryx ordorata, a tree. The bean can be used to make flavoring very similar to vanilla. Sadly the concoction is dreadfully toxic and can cause liver damage and is a know carcinogen.

 

Coumarin is used extensively in synthetic vanillas manufactured in Mexico. The U.S. banned imports of the coumarin laced products back in the 1950's. Unfortunately the products still make their way into the U.S.

 

If you purchase any Mexican vanilla make sure it is clearly labeled "courmarin free".

 

See this link for the "Straight Dope" about it: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/011207.html

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I'll have to try it with Rum as well... What size rum did you use?

I bought a half pint of Rum, and put four Tahiti Vanilla Beans in it. It worked perfectly.

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I bought a half pint of Rum, and put four Tahiti Vanilla Beans in it. It worked perfectly.

 

 

I'll have to do a test and see which one I like better.

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One of the best places to buy prue vanilla in Puerto Vallarta, is at the Wall Mart, right across the street from the port.

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If you purchase any Mexican vanilla make sure it is clearly labeled "courmarin free".

 

Thanks for posting that, Dani24. I'm going to Cabo in ten days and will know what to look out for now when shopping for vanilla.

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Just looked at the bottle in my cabinet... it is Palapa. It says coumarine free on the side of the bottle. The 1/4 litre bottle was 3.00 US, and like I said has even a better flavor than any of the pure vanilla extract you can buy in the US grocery stores. This has lasted me quite a while. Last time I was in Barbados I bought some Bajan vanilla and it is somewhat different... not as good I think.

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Making sure any Mexican vanilla you buy is labaled "coumarin free" is very important. I did some further research and found that coumaron is toxic to the liver and kidneys. ALSO it can act as a "blood-thinner". The brand name prescription drug, Coumadin, is prescribed as a blood thinner, for people who have clotting problems, like deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg). The generic name is warfarin, and warfarin contains coumarin. So be careful of what you buy.

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We bought a bottle of Vanilla in Cozumel last year at Los Cincos Sol. They also gave free shots of tequilla...The vanilla is very good, but you only need to use a drop, it is very strong.

Enjoy!:D

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The best place to buy top quality vanilla is at your local Williams Sonoma store.

They carry Madagascar Bourbon, reputedly the best quality available anywhere.

A bonus: you can be assured you're buying a genuine, not pirated, brand.

 

Shop Mexico for silver, shop at home for pure vanilla extract.:)

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The best place to buy top quality vanilla is at your local Williams Sonoma store.

They carry Madagascar Bourbon, reputedly the best quality available anywhere.

A bonus: you can be assured you're buying a genuine, not pirated, brand.

 

Shop Mexico for silver, shop at home for pure vanilla extract.:)

 

Agreed. I think a lot of people in here have been duped. It may "taste" good. But it doesn't mean that it IS good. For something I'm going to ingest, I'd rather buy it in the US, where at least I stand a better chance of it actually being what it claims to be.

 

I'll repeat one more time, for those that missed it the first time if you are buying inexpensive vanilla in Mexico, you are NOT buying real, high quality vanilla. Don't automatically believe what the shop owner tells you, or what the bottle says. The rules are NOT like in America where that stuff won't fly for long.

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I always find the local supermarket and buy my vanilla there along with some other goodies. The supermarket doesn't jack up prices for the tourists. I once found a walmart and shopped there for liquor and candy and vanilla to bring home for sovineirs.

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Agreed. I think a lot of people in here have been duped. It may "taste" good. But it doesn't mean that it IS good. For something I'm going to ingest, I'd rather buy it in the US, where at least I stand a better chance of it actually being what it claims to be.

 

I'll repeat one more time, for those that missed it the first time if you are buying inexpensive vanilla in Mexico, you are NOT buying real, high quality vanilla. Don't automatically believe what the shop owner tells you, or what the bottle says. The rules are NOT like in America where that stuff won't fly for long.

 

 

Thank you Doctor Dan!!

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On a land trip I did the Walmart shop and purchased two "large bottles..." Remember it weighs more...(not to mention after reading this...not sure I even want to continue to use it...)...but it put my suit case over the weight limit...(no I don’t travel light…)so I was charged the excessive weight for by bags to come home... OK...I could have taken it out, but would have had to go to the back of the security line...and risked missing my plane...so not a bargain for me....

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