Looking for vanilla beans at the supermarket? Here are the aisles to visit and the stores that sell them. By the way, vanilla is enjoyed across the world. If you want to create that special flavor that it gives and also stay 100% organic, the beans are exactly what you need.
Which Aisle is Vanilla Bean in?
First, look for whole vanilla beans in the spice (or baking) aisle. They could be near the herbs and spices or on the same shelf. If you can’t find it in the spice aisle, move on to the bulk section. Some grocery stores sell vanilla beans in grams.
What Stores Sell Vanilla Beans?
There are two ways to buy vanilla beans: online at stores like Amazon and Walmart or in person at your neighborhood grocer or supermarket. The following is a list of places you can purchase vanilla beans:
If you prefer to shop online, Amazon is the place to go because it is the largest online marketplace in the world. Madagascar vanilla beans, which is the best grade of vanilla beans available, are available in sets of ten for $12.74. Vanilla tahensis, a slightly less expensive alternative, is also available.
Walmart is the world’s largest retailer and, without a doubt, the largest and most widely available retailer in the United States. Like Amazon, they have various merchants who sell vanilla beans. 10 A-grade Madagascar vanilla beans cost $9.99, making them slightly less expensive than Amazon.
Kroger, the largest supermarket chain in the United States, carries various grades and vanilla bean brands. You can purchase McCormick’s Madagascar vanilla beans or Kroger’s brand, Private Selection.
4. Whole Foods Market
Most people know Whole Foods for its organic goods and occasionally inflated prices. They were recently acquired by Amazon and are yet another location where you can obtain vanilla beans. They offer a variety of vanilla bean grades, including the best Madagascar vanilla beans.
5. Trader Joe’s
Vanilla beans have been sold at Trader Joe’s and may still be available. Location may influence availability.
Spice Islands Bourbon Vanilla Bean and a few other brands are available at Publix.
Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Beans are available at Wegman’s shops.
Related: Is Wegmans Expensive? (What Research Says)
Vons, another Alberts-owned supermarket chain, will likely stock vanilla beans from the same brands as Safeway and Albertsons.
Aside from Kroger, the second-largest supermarket in America is Albertsons. They sell high-quality Madagascar vanilla beans under the brands McCormick and Lafaza Beans.
Safeway is another supermarket chain that Albertsons own. Vanilla beans from McCormick’s and Shop O’s are available.
Read Also: Where is Farro in Grocery Store?
How to Pick the Best Vanilla Beans at the Grocery Store
We wish we could say that all vanilla beans in the supermarket are the same, but they are not. The best vanilla beans to purchase are those that appear “full” and glossy. If you see this through the jar, it’s probably fresh and ready to use in the kitchen.
If the vanilla beans appear dull and brittle, do not purchase them. These vanilla beans are getting too old, and extracting the vanilla inside will be difficult when you need them.
Do Vanilla Beans Expire?
Vanilla beans don’t have many uses in the kitchen, so it’s natural to wonder how long they’ll last if you won’t be using them as frequently.
Vanilla beans should last up to three or four years as other whole spices and herbs. However, this is also dependent on how well you can store them.
To properly store vanilla beans, you must be able to keep them from drying out or becoming moldy. You can keep beans that have been vacuum-sealed for up to six months.
After six months, remove the beans from the container and wrap them in wax paper or plastic before storing them in an airtight container or resealable bag. A resealable bag should have as little air as possible before being sealed.
Refrigerate or freeze vanilla beans to preserve their quality. Keep the container (or resealable bag) in a dark, relatively superb location away from heat sources. A kitchen cabinet away from the oven should be adequate for most people. To further extend their shelf life, open the container every few weeks and let air circulate for 5–10 minutes before closing and putting it back in storage.
Vanilla beans are widely available in most major supermarket chains, so if you live in a large city, you should have no trouble finding some.
That being said, if you live near a supermarket chain, you should be able to find some vanilla beans in the spice aisle, which is where they are most of the time.
If you can’t find them, the best option is to go to Amazon and buy some, though you’ll have to hope they deliver a high-quality product.
Having worked in a grocery store in the past, I thought it wise to pen down a few things that you might be interested to know about shopping and navigating your way around the store.