I remember making cookies with my mom as a kid. It was like magic how butter, sugar, and flour came together to make cookie dough. If that isn’t magical enough, she always put a nice dose of vanilla extract into the dough.
Vanilla extract smelled so amazing. But I always wondered why she didn’t taste it. So, curiosity got the better of me one day in my childhood. And I poured myself a little tablespoon. What a surprise as to how terrible it tasted!
Despite the overwhelming smell of deliciousness of vanilla extract, the taste never measured up to the flavor. I had never encountered something where the disconnect between the aroma and actual concentrated flavor was so pronounced.
Much later in life, I was introduced to vanilla bean paste. It was a new item to most of us in the class. They also encouraged us to taste it.
Many of us were a bit hesitant to, as I think as people tried it and their faces indicated that it wasn’t terrible tasting like vanilla extract.
It tasted like what I thought vanilla extract should taste like. It was sweet and fragrant. Plus the vanilla bean seeds are present throughout. So if you are making something light in color, it will reflect the more natural beauty of vanilla.
Back in 2016, when they first announced the price of vanilla would go up, I stocked up on some Nielsen-Massey vanilla. I bought a quart of vanilla bean paste and thought I was being spendy at $35. That same quart on amazon has become incredibly expensive.
In other words, this 2-ounce jar from Trader Joe’s at $4.99 is a bargain. The quality is similar to my beloved Nielsen Massey vanilla. There are subtle differences in the ingredients.
But overall, this product is solid. If you use vanilla extract at all in your household, this is one of those products that you should get. There is no need to be fearful of using this because it is an equal substitute for vanilla extract. So whether you need a teaspoon or tablespoon the measurements in your most beloved recipes remain the same.
Best of all, if the finished product is light enough in color you’ll see those beautiful vanilla bean specks.
If your local Trader Joe’s has run out of these, don’t fear. Nielsen Massey reached out to me and is sharing the following deals:
- Starting November 18th, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is offering 25% off their 2 oz. Holiday Bundle
- Starting on November 29th, you can get 30% off their 4 oz. Holiday Bundle (for Black Friday through Cyber Monday)
- Starting December 9th, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas is offering 25% off their 2 oz. Holiday Bundle
Did you try it? Let me know what you think in the comments section!
Here is the visual run down of what you get if you buy this product:
The jar of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Paste:
The nutritional information and the ingredients:
Want to see more items I’ve reviewed from Trader Joe’s? Click on Thoughts & Reviews of Trader Joe’s for a searchable list.
The Bottom Line
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Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Paste
Product Name: Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Paste
Product Description: Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Paste is interchangeable with vanilla extract.
Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Paste is a new and seasonal offering at Trader Joe’s.
- Worthy of Repurchasing
- A good quality vanilla bean paste
- Affordably priced
- Seasonal item
- If you like this or think it will make a good gift idea, now is the time to stock up