Nielsen-Massey Vanillas


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Having grown up surrounded by the rich aroma of our family business's pure vanilla and flavors, we've come to know a few things about vanilla, its harvesting and production, which vanilla to use, our pure flavors, recipes and more. Even more, we'd love the opportunity to get to know you and your culinary pursuits better...
- Craig, Matt & Beth Nielsen

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While we try to answer all queries, we post the questions that we think will be most intriguing and beneficial to other site visitors here:

Q: I love your products, but recently discovered I have a corn allergy. Could you tell me if corn or corn-based alcohols are used in your products? – Jennifer K.
A: Our vanilla beans are simply just beans and don’t use any alcohol or corn. Our Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract uses organically-certified alcohol derived from non-corn sources (sugar beet originally, now sugar cane).

We currently use alcohols derived from sugar cane alcohol in our Pure Vanilla Extracts, Pastes and Sugars as well as our Pure Flavor Extracts along with our Rose and Orange Blossom Waters. However, based on store inventory cycles, it is possible that there are products of ours on store shelves that use corn alcohol (which is what we previously used). In light of that, if you need confirmation that corn was not used in a product, please feel free to contact us with the Lot #, which is on the side of the bottle, and we can check for you.

Our Pure Vanilla Powders do contain maltodextrin, a modified cornstarch that acts as the base that encapsulates our pure vanilla extract.
- Matt Nielsen

Q: What is the shelf life of an unopened bottle of vanilla? - Pam W.
A: Our Pure Vanilla Extracts have an unlimited shelf life as long as they are stored at room temperature and tightly sealed in their bottle. In fact, there's nothing in the product that can go bad! Our vanillas continue to mellow and develop flavor as they age, just as a fine wine or liquor would. It's possible that over time the flavor matter may settle at the bottom of the bottle. This is normal and a quick shake should put it back into suspension. Enjoy!
- Matt Nielsen

Q: Could you please tell me how much sugar is in the Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste? I absolutely LOVE this product but am concerned about carbs as we are diabetic. - Kimberley R.
A: There are 3 grams of sugar per teaspoon in our Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste. For a single teaspoon, this may seem high, but to put it in perspective, this is just one ingredient added to an entire recipe. Those sugars will be dispersed throughout what you're preparing, and thus have a very small impact on the dish as a whole. Thank you and enjoy!
- Craig Nielsen

Q: I'm making a whipped cream topping for a cake and I was wondering how much of the orange blossom water I should use to make three cups of topping. Any advice? - Phillip G.
A: Per cup of heavy whipping cream we recommend 1–2 teaspoons of the Orange Blossom Water, to taste. Thanks for asking, good luck with your recipe!
- Matt Nielsen

Q: What type of vanilla extract should I use for my holiday cookies? - Lexi M.
A: Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is the most all-purpose vanilla and most likely is the vanilla to which your recipe is referring. Its sweet and creamy flavor is delicious in all types of butter, chocolate-chip, shortbread, and sugar cookies. Tahitian vanilla doesn't handle high heat well and would be better in"cold" desserts, such as creams, custards, fruit pies or puddings than in baking.

For a different flavor profile, Mexican vanilla could provide a twist on one of your traditional cookie recipes. Mexican vanilla, while still sweet and creamy, also has a little spice to it, which could be a really interesting flavor in a butter cookie. Or, let it cozy up to other spices in ginger snaps or cinnamon cookies.
- Beth Nielsen

Q: If a recipe calls for a teaspoon of vanilla extract, would I use less or the same of your pure vanilla extract? - Nick H.
A: You would use the same amount. When we refer to our products as "pure vanilla," that's actually an FDA designation. The FDA dictates that pure vanilla extract must contain 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon of liquid and be 35% alcohol. But, beyond the technical jargon, I think you'll find that our pure vanilla has a deeper, richer flavor than other brands and any non-pure or imitation vanillas.
- Craig Nielsen

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