After 3 months of patiently waiting for the finished product, we had our taste test of homemade vs. store-bought vanilla extract. For homemade, we only had the batch made with your beans; the other one was far too weak to even bother, as I didn't use nearly enough beans.
We tasted the vanilla on sugar cubes as you suggested, and for an easy recipe I made vanilla wafers, which calls for 4 teaspoons of extract (Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats). We tested the homemade against McCormack pure vanilla extract, and also McCormack imitation vanilla extract (first and last time I'll buy the imitation stuff!).
It was an informal test over several days, with about a dozen tasters, so I don't have actual numbers. But it was a blind taste test, which I conducted (I didn't take part).
You'll be pleased to know that homemade won easily. Only one person preferred the store-bought pure extract to the homemade. Two people inexplicably preferred the imitation; there's no accounting for taste!
I've been happily using my homemade extract in cookies and cakes, and we're giving small bottles to our friends for the holidays.
Time to start another batch! Enjoy the holidays.
- Bob M. - Bedford, NH
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