Whole vanilla beansImitation vanilla extract should come with a government warning label: You have no idea what you're missing. Even extract made from real vanilla has nothing on the beans themselves. Scrape the seeds into sauces and doughs, steep the husks in vats of crème anglaise for ice cream. You can reuse the beans too. After they're dried, bury them in your sugar bowl for homemade vanilla sugar. Yeah, they're expensive ($1 to $2 for a single Madagascar bean), but when you want the flavor to shine through, they're worth it.--A.S.
any thoughts? i have yet to switch to vanilla beans because of the cost, and i've been trying to decide if i should get a dutch oven when i already have a slow cooker - are they that different? this article is telling me yes..