Simple tips for smart food…
The seeds from the vanilla pod have the most concentrated vanilla flavour. They can be used in any recipe as a substitute for any other form of vanilla.
Vanilla paste is a concentrated vanilla extract containing vanilla seeds. It is useful in cooking when you require the appearance of the vanilla seeds. It can be expensive but the quality of the flavour makes it worth it. It is strong and sweet compared with the extract.
Vanilla syrup is pure vanilla flavour that has been extracted from the pods by gently boiling them in a sugar and water
solution. It has a more subtle flavour than vanilla extract.
The pods are the dried seeds of the vanilla tree. They can be used by slitting the pod lengthwise and scraping the tiny black seeds into the dish. To make vanilla flavoured sugar, place used vanilla pods in a jar of sugar and leave to infuse for several weeks. Vanilla pods should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or kept in an airtight container as they dry out easily. Pods can be washed and reused.
Vanilla extract is the concentrated extract made from vanilla pods. It’s a premium product with a strong, powerful flavour. It’s usually used in smaller amounts than vanilla essence (an artificial imitation that is much weaker than the real thing).