Can you buy vanilla beans at the grocery store? 

Yes! You can buy vanilla beans at the grocery store. Some grocery stores mostly carry vanilla beans only when there is an oversupply of vanilla. Other specialty foods and baking stores sell vanilla beans all year round. You just have to call around and see if they have it in stock before making a trip to the store. The vanilla beans you buy at the store are typically overpriced and low quality. This is why it is advisable to purchase fresh Madagascar “Bourbon” vanilla beans from us. 

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

If you’re looking for where to buy vanilla beans some stores which sell vanilla beans are Costco, Walmart, and other specialty grocery stores. Unfortunately, grocery stores charge a premium for Madagascar “Bourbon” vanilla beans. Grocery stores also care more about purchasing the vanilla beans from the vanilla farmers at a huge discount so they can increase their margins, hence grocery store vanilla tends to be low quality, overpriced, dry, stale, and just meh. In fact, you can pay between $8 to $15 for 1 unremarkable vanilla bean pod purchased from the grocery store. It is best to buy fresh, moist, and pliable vanilla beans from us for cheap. We sell our bulk vanilla beans at $1.9 per vanilla bean pod or $11.13 an ounce. The choice is yours!

Where are vanilla beans in the grocery store?

You can find vanilla beans in the spice and seasoning aisle in some grocery or specialty stores. If you cannot locate it in this section of the store, you may have to check the baking aisle. 

Where do I find vanilla beans in a grocery store?

Due to the expensive cost of vanilla beans, some grocery stores choose to store it in the back and sell it only to customers who inquire with the staff and or manager. If you check the spice, seasoning, baking, and specialty foods aisle and you cannot find it, it is best to go up front and ask the store associate for help finding it. 

Where do vanilla beans come from? Vanilla beans, the “caviar” of dessert dishes, is originally from Mexico and were kept secret by the native Totonac Indians. The Totonac Indians were conquered by the Aztecs who kept these 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. The gourmet grade is typically known as grade A by consumers and extraction grade( grade B, cuts & splits). 

The aroma of fresh gourmet grade A vanilla beans is intoxicating, and it’s no coincidence that a lot of chefs like to use grade A beans in their gourmet dishes. Grade A beans are soft, moist, and pliable, perfect for creating tasty desserts or other recipes where the final dish needs to look beautiful. 

It’s easy to scrape vanilla ‘caviar” seeds out of grade A vanilla beans after splitting them in half. Vanilla caviar is used in dishes like custard, cupcakes, etc. A dish/recipe made with vanilla caviar will show the vanilla seeds distributed beautifully in the dish.

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.

Grade B vanilla beans are the most common grade of vanilla used for making extracts. Grade B vanilla beans are a lot drier and less pliable. You can use grade B vanilla to make vanilla extracts by breaking or sniping the vanilla into little pieces and soaking it in alcohol for at least 3 to 6 months. 

You can read more about how to use vanilla beans here.