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Spicy World Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans, 1/2 - Pound Bags

4.5 out of 5 stars 206 customer reviews
| 8 answered questions
About the Product
  • One 1/2-pound bag of Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans from Spicy World
  • Authentic vanilla fruits essential for fresh crème brulees, vanilla ice cream, and other delicacies

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Domestic Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
  • International Shipping: This item is not eligible for international shipping. Learn More
  • ASIN: B003TIVBSU
  • UPC: 692991702515
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (206 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,161 in Grocery & Gourmet Food (See Top 100 in Grocery & Gourmet Food)

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Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nathalio M. Caplan on January 13, 2012
Verified Purchase
I am a professional chef and specialize mostly in pastry, cakes, and desserts. It plays hell with my diabetes but I just love creating some delicious dessert for friends when we have small gatherings.

I usually buy vanilla beans in Tijuana, Mexico because I can get good quality at a decent price. By that I mean the beans tend to be supple, shiny, and aromatic. By "decent price" I mean it usually costs me around $1.50 to $2.00 per piece.

When I saw this half-pound package at such a low price I was skeptical but I figured the $25 would not be a big risk and if they were bad I can always return them. I ordered on Jan 11 and got them Jan 13. Free two-day shipping being another great feature of my Amazon Prime membership which I now believe is an excellent value.

The beans are very high quality. They are "Gourmet Bourbon" which means about 30% moisture (a good thing) and they are shiny and nicely oily (you want the oily surface as that is one part where a lot of flavor is located. The other part is in the seeds and that is the reason the bean is split and the seeds scrapped when used). These beans are very fresh as shown by their flexibility (as beans grow old they dry out and get brittle- still usable but not as good). They come sealed in a vacuum bag and that is inside a zip bag. Even through the double packaging the scent is very noticeable and complex.

This is a large quantity of beans. If you are not going to use them rapidly I recommend separating into two or three bean lots and vacuum packing those. For optimal shelf-life I keep mine in a wine refrigerator (it gets cool but not cold) where I keep my 20 or 30 pounds of various chocolates.

This is an excellent deal on good quality. I just can't figure out how they manage to make a buck on this one!
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extremely good deal. i placed the order on tuesday, got the package on saturday. the packaging is very good (vanilla beans are vacuum packed as well as comes with a heavy ziploc bag for after you open the vacuum pack). 1/2 vanilla bean is about a little over 50 vanilla beans. every grocery store i go (wegmans, whole foods, weiss etc etc) that carries vanilla beans usually only sells them in packets of 2 vanilla beans for typically $12. so if you buy 50 vanilla beans 2 at a time for $12 each, thats $300! so basically you're saving $272.31.
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As a baker, I’ve enjoyed making homemade vanilla for years and have order from other places in the past. I tried the Spicy World Vanilla beans based on the other “rave” reviews that people said about the quality. While the shipping was fast (with Amazon Prime) I was quickly disappointed after opening the beans to find them a bit too oily and with an “off smell” – I divided up the 54 beans into 4 bottles vodka and said let’s see what happens.

In the past with that many beans sitting in vodka, I’d have a slightly fragrant and lovely concoction brewing within a few weeks. As of today, I have weak tea coloring, an oily residue and no scent of vanilla at all. Like the other reviewer, I am completely disappointed with the vanilla beans. I really wanted these to work, it's really a great deal for the amount of beans you get in the package.

I don't know why the other reviewer stated he could just return them if he was unhappy, because due to Amazon's policies there is no way to return them at this point. While it’s a great deal compared with the prices in the store I wish I’d had the same experience as the other reviewers.

Perhaps, I got a bad batch but I can’t seem to find a way to contact the company to see if they are willing to replace them. If I get an answer from the vendor I will update this review.
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By Dana on December 12, 2010
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There are a ton of vanilla beans in this package. They are supple and so fragrant, you can smell them without breaking the seal. Truly a fantastic deal.
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Vanilla beans have many uses: you can make vanilla sugar, creme brulee, and many other desserts. You can also make vanilla extract. And if you buy these beans, you can do it all at a fraction of the supermarket price.

Yesterday I priced two vanilla beans in a spice bottle at the supermarket. They cost almost $6. This half pound package of beans that comes in a vacuum pack contains at least 50 beans and cost only $25. I am not quite sure what I will do with all of these, but we did make some bottles of vanilla extract for our favorite cooks for Xmas, and I have vanilla sugar in my cupboard now. The fragrance of these beans is marvelous, but I have resealed the package so the beans won't dry out. I may even put a few beans on the counter to make it smell like I have been cooking!

A recipe:

1 cheap fifth of vodka
10-12 beans, sliced the long way.

Remove a cook's share from the vodka bottle and replace with the beans. close the bottle. Let sit for at least a month in a cool dark cupboard.

Decant some of the vanilla into a smaller bottle when you need a refill. Put another sliced bean in there, and top off the large bottle with more vodka. Use the smaller bottle for your cooking. Make lots of cookies!

You can keep this up for about a year.
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