Saturday, July 4, 2009

tahitian dreams

(quite) A few years ago, my parents went to Tahiti. (lucky!) My mom brought me back a bottle of vanilla. I really didn't think much of it, and when I ran out of the vanilla I had in the cupboard, I busted out the fancy one. I had just made chocolate chip cookies, but they were THE best chocolate chip cookies I had ever made! It was such a small bottle, so I only used it for very special occasions. Soon enough, it ran out, and I had to go back to the boring vanilla. Over the years, I would tell everyone I knew about the mystical tahitian vanilla that I once baked with. I would say things like "You know, if I still had that delicious vanilla, that cake/cookie/cheesecake you are eating would taste so much better". I googled, and googled. I could not find a replacement anywhere!

For my 28th birthday, Danny had taken his dad and his sisters to Sur La Table to pick out my birthday gifts. I can't remember all the wonderful things they picked out, except for the HUGE 8oz bottle of Tahitian Vanilla! I think I even shrieked when I opened up the box. (It was the Nielsen-Massy brand. You have probably seen their Madagascar Vanilla in the grocery store. It looks like this. I had tried it before, but wasn't impressed. That was the first time I had seen a Tahitian version.) 6 months later, the bottle was empty. (sigh) And yes, I really do bake that much!

After I had used the whole bottle, Danny and I were at his Dad's for some celebration, and his dad and I were chatting. He apologized for only getting me a bottle of vanilla for my birthday. "Are you kidding me?!" I said, "I LOVED that gift! I have already used the whole thing!" Funny, some girls love Juicy purses. I love large bottles of expensive vanilla.

So, every time I am at gateway or even downtown, I go to Sur La Table to see if they have any Tahitian Vanilla. They NEVER do. I had put in multiple call when in's, and nothing. SO frustrating! They were even out online!

For my 29th (gulp) birthday, my mom gave me a bottle of Madagascar/Tahitian Vanilla Blend. She found it at TJ Maxx. I't by Sonoma Syrup Co. I was very excited, but a little letdown that it was not PURE Tahitian. (snob!) That is, until I opened it up, and smelled it. Ooooh. SO wonderful! It was MUCH better than the previous bottle! It was so close to the original, I couldn't believe my luck!

And now, it's all gone. I used the last of it for Mal's Vanilla Bean Cupcakes that I am making for her birthday celebration later on today. So, whilst they are baking, I googled the Sonoma Syrup Co. I found an online retailer and I ordered another bottle or 2. (jumping up and down) And, the bottle only cost $14.50. WOW! The one from Sur La Table was $40! And the cheaper one is SOOOOOO much better!

My faith has been partially restored in baking since the Plane Cake Massacre of June 2009. Still, I am off layer cakes for awhile. Cupcakes, cookies, and cheesecakes only.

You should try it. It's dreamy. Go here to order online.

1 comment:

  1. If there is anyone I would trust about a recommendation like's you! I'm going to order me a bottle. :)
    Your vanilla bean cupcakes look amazing! Cute pics.
    By the way...I made your key lime recipe yesterday and it was incredible! :)