Can you buy vanilla beans at the grocery store? 

Certainly! Vanilla beans can often be found at the grocery store, although availability may vary depending on the store and the time of year. It is worth calling ahead to check if they have vanilla beans in stock before making a trip to the store. 

However, it’s important to note that the vanilla beans you can find at the grocery store may not be of the highest quality and are overpriced.

For the best quality, it is recommended to purchase fresh Madagascar “Bourbon” vanilla beans from a trusted source like Spice Bay Foods.

Where to buy vanilla beans and What stores sell vanilla beans?

Vanilla beans can be found at stores like Costco, Walmart, Whole Foods, and other specialty grocery stores. Unfortunately, grocery stores charge a premium for Madagascar “Bourbon” vanilla beans. Stores prioritize purchasing subpar vanilla beans from middlemen and agents at a cheaper price instead of focusing on quality.

Vanilla purchased in stores is often overpriced, dry, stale and just meh. You will be able to purchase better quality, fresher, vanilla beans at an affordable price from Spice Bay Foods. At the grocery store, you can pay $10 or more for 1 unremarkable vanilla bean pod.

Our Bulk vanilla beans are sold at $1.9 – $3 per vanilla bean pod or around $11 an ounce when purchased by weight.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours but it’s important to consider all your options before making a decision.

Where to buy fresh vanilla beans?

Buy vanilla beans online from Spice Bay Foods: If you can’t find vanilla beans at any of your local grocery stores, you can purchase your vanilla beans directly from Spice Bay Foods. We recommend purchasing from us because: 

Our vanilla beans are sourced directly from vanilla farmers, ensuring that our inventory is always fresh and of premium quality. In comparison, the vanilla beans you may find in the grocery store will not be as fresh and of lower quality. 

Grocery stores charge exorbitant prices for vanilla beans. A single vanilla bean pod can cost as much as $10 in a grocery store. We offer bulk vanilla beans at a more reasonable price of $1.9 – $3 per vanilla bean pod or $11.13 per ounce when purchased by weight, making us a more cost-effective option. 

Where do I find vanilla beans in a grocery store?

If you’re having trouble finding vanilla beans in the grocery store, here are a few places you can try looking:

Spice and Seasoning Aisle: Vanilla beans can be found in the spices and seasonings aisle of most grocery and specialty food stores that sell cooking and baking spices. 

Baking Aisle: If you cannot find them in the spice aisle, you may want to try looking in the baking aisle. Vanilla beans are often used in baking recipes and may be sold with other baking ingredients. Alternatively, you can try checking at specialty grocery stores that specialize in selling only baking supplies. These stores tend to have a wider selection of vanilla beans and other hard-to-find baking ingredients.

Due to the high cost of vanilla beans, some grocery stores choose to store them in the back and sell it only to customers who inquire with the staff.

If you check the spice, seasoning, baking, and specialty foods aisle and you still can’t find it, it is best to go up front and ask the store associate for help finding it or just purchase it online from Spice Bay Foods

Where do vanilla beans come from?

Vanilla beans, the “caviar” of dessert dishes, are originally from Mexico and were kept secret by the native Totonac Indians. The Totonac Indians were conquered by the Aztecs who kept the glorious vanilla beans to themselves.

It was only when the Aztec empire was defeated by Hernán Cortés, that vanilla pods were brought back to Spain in the 1500s. This is when vanilla was officially introduced to Europe and then to the rest of the world. You can read more about the origin of vanilla here

How to use Vanilla Beans?

There are two main grades of vanilla beans, gourmet and extraction grade. The grade of vanilla you have will determine how and what you can use it for.

Gourmet vanilla beans are also known as grade A by consumers. Grade A vanilla beans are prized for their intoxicating aroma and are typically used for cooking or baking gourmet recipes. Gourmet vanilla beans are soft, moist, and pliable, making them ideal for use in dishes where the final product needs to look beautiful, such as desserts or other baked goods. 

Gourmet beans are easy to split in half and scrape out the “caviar” seeds, which can be used in dishes like custards, ice creams, and cupcakes. The husk of Grade A vanilla beans can also be used in dishes/cocktails where you want to use a part or the whole vanilla pod as a garnish after scraping out the caviar.

Grade A vanilla beans can also be used in dishes where you want to use a part or the whole vanilla pod as a garnish after scraping out the caviar. For example, vanilla bean is often seen on top of specialty cocktails, and creme brulee as a garnish to give it that extra flair.

On the other hand, extraction-grade vanilla beans, also known as grade B, are most commonly used for making extracts. Grade B beans are drier and less pliable than grade A beans, they can be used to make vanilla extract by breaking them into small pieces and soaking them in alcohol for at least 3 to 6 months. They can also be used to flavor beer when during the brewing process.