Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Vanilla Bean or French Vanilla?

When it comes to vanilla ice cream, that choice may seem inconsequential to many people. But to me, there's a very big difference between the two.

Most of what is sold in the stores as "vanilla bean" ice cream seems rather bland to me. I much prefer French vanilla. In fact, the preference is strong enough that I won't buy vanilla bean anymore -- even if it's simply to serve a la mode with pie or something else.

I love the custard-like flavor of French vanilla.

Now I have found a reason why people who use an ice-cream maker at home should prefer French vanilla. At SimplyRecipes, Elise writes:

French vanilla is a bit more complicated than regular vanilla or most of the ice cream recipes that come with the machine, as you need to prepare a custard mix by cooking the eggs and cream first.

But unlike many homemade ice creams which can be a little on the ice-y side, because of the added richness of the egg yolks, French vanilla stays creamier -- at least for the first day or two in the freezer.

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