It’s official, despite the nation’s love affair with cooking, recent research conducted by Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has revealed that 2 in 5 adults do not know the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence. Granted, in some cases, mixing up the two, could be a slip of the tongue. However, even when prompted, most people found it difficult to explain the difference, which is odd, because the difference is very simple – one is real vanilla and the other is not!
Nielsen-Massey conducted this research to highlight that vanilla extract is made from real vanilla, extracted straight from the vanilla plant. In contrast, vanilla essence is in fact a synthetic artificial flavouring (mainly made with chemicals) – certainly not something that we’d want to mix into our cupcakes.
Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Extract is made from the finest Madagascan vanilla beans. The best beans are hand-picked, cured and put through a cold extraction process, which slowly and gently draws the vanilla from the bean, preserving the delicate flavour to create one of the finest pure vanilla extracts in the world.
So next time your recipe requires vanilla, make sure you choose the real thing, and choose the best to guarantee both quality and taste. Interestingly the brand pictured is the one I have in my cupboard; I just never considered the producer – Nielsen-Massey.