Splish, splash, another dash, I am a liberal user of pure vanilla when I bake. I do measure but tend to add in more for most of my baked goods. I was aghast when last shopping for supplies and eyeballed the price of vanilla. My, oh my, bite the bullet and lessen the splashes! Have you noticed the price has more than doubled, perusing the internet it seems to have tripled. I will not in all good conscience switch to imitation vanilla, have no fear! Little Neva’s goodies won’t be compromised!
The article below gives a great background into the production of vanilla and the reasons for it’s skyrocketing prices. The island country of Madagascar has more than 75 % world’s vanilla fields. This equates to reaching into our pockets for other favorite products. It is not just baked goods that may have price increases, add ice cream to the list as well as other products we consume regularly.
A shortage there has resulted in the increase the cost of vanilla beans from about $11 / pound in 2011 to $193 by the end of 2016. The vanilla farming process is quite labor-intensive, of course, it is divine, not easy to find it’s way into the bottle in your cabinet! The beans grow on orchids and require each one to be hand pollinated. Imagine, being the bee!
Add the cost of shipping to the price of beans and you can understand why Pure Vanilla demands a high price. The higher quality beans are harder to find as the price rises. Many farmers harvest the beans before they fully mature, because of thievery due to the value of the dark brown bean.
Apparently, this year’s vanilla crop is in good shape so hopefully we will see prices decline. In the meantime, resist the extra splashes!