—by Katharine Holden, HPC Member
On their cooking show, Two Fat Ladies, Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson-Wright frequently warned against the horrors of using “vanilla flavoring” instead of vanilla extract. The reason? So-called vanilla flavoring doesn’t have any real vanilla in it. It’s basically corn products and food coloring. Vanilla flavoring is sold in bottles right next to the real stuff, and it’s cheaper than the real stuff. So consumers are fooled and enticed into buying it. If you truly want to add corn syrup and food coloring to your baked goods, then go ahead and buy vanilla flavoring. If you want to add vanilla to your baked goods, buy vanilla extract only. It is made, as it should be, from vanilla beans. Frontier Natural Foods Co-op, out of Iowa, makes a full line of high-quality extracts, both conventional and organic, including vanilla, orange, butterscotch, and anise.