I’ve been asking around some of my favorite forums about finding cheaper vanilla bean prices. Chowhound, local folks, and eGullet have been a wealth of information. I was just going to stop in at Penzeys in Portland this weekend (after Dim Sum and Powell’s, and yes I’m bragging), but other forces have taken over.
In a fit of eBay munchies, I just bought 1lb of vanilla beans for $15 ($6 shipping and handling). I would have never thought of eBay, but it was first suggested on Chowhound. Then it was seconded and thirded on eGullet’s pastry forum. So, the deed is done… I have one pound of organic Papua New Guinea born 6-7″ Tahitian vanilla beans on their way to mamma.
Vanilla bean reviews pending (is there such a thing as a bad vanilla bean?).
I shouldn’t even mention the great rates on 10 lb shipments should I? Eeegads!
Here’s the eGullet thread on vanilla, with great general information on the different types of vanilla.
Ebay people I just ordered vanilla from, the Organic Vanilla Company.
Companies also recommended for their vanilla beans in the eGullet thread: