Sure, it may be another word for “plain,” but vanilla is far from boring. Its flavor can range from floral to savory and, depending on the market, its price per pound can be as much as a designer handbag. (Don’t even get me started on the drama of shortages and imitations.) Oh, yeah, and it’s found in everything from cookies to quick bread to ice cream.
So yeah, vanilla is essential in the kitchen…and that makes buying it all the more contentious. What’s the best vanilla extract your money can buy? I tasted all the options I could get my hands on to find out.