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Vanilla 101

Vanilla comes in several forms: liquid, paste, powder, and whole beans. Here’s how and when to use each version of the world’s most popular spice.

By Published Dec. 15, 2021

What You Need To Know

Over the years the word “vanilla” has become synonymous with “plain” or “boring,” but the actual spice is anything but—it’s bursting with complex flavors. It can taste smoky, spicy, floral, and even fruity given the species, where it’s grown, and how the vanilla beans are cured. 

There are two common species of vanilla: Vanilla planifolia and Vanilla tahitensis. V. planifolia is...