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March 29th, 2009

The Scam That Is Vanilla Beans

Have you ever bought a vanilla bean in a grocery store? If you’re like me, you paid $7 for a single bean in a jar from the spice aisle. And then you held onto it for months, not wanting to use it for just any recipe because at that price, it’s more precious than saffron.

Eventually, I thought about this absurdity. I mean, if Breyer’s Ice Cream can use real vanilla beans and still be a cheap ice cream option, then something is up.

And, sure enough, it is. After a bit of research I found a recommended vendor on ebay (and there are regular web stores, too) that will sell 50 organic Grade A vanilla beans for $14, vacuum sealed, shipped for free. AND they throw in 10 free Grade B beans (or more/better beans the more your order costs). You can also get bulk paste (which I think is just the pods pre-scraped) and extract for significantly less than in the store.

There’s something seriously amiss when I get get 60 beans online for the price of two in the supermarket. And I want to blow the whole racket wide open.

Posted in Food and Beverage

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