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Safeway Imitation Vanilla-ethylene glycol-for bakers

jerry i h | Apr 18, 200810:07 PM

I found 2 bottles of this stuff in the back of a shelf, 8 ozs each, so I had a total of a pint of the stuff. I probably got them on sale for a buck each; still, I wondered why I had bought them in the first place. Then, I read the ingredients. The solvent, rather than alcohol, was ethylene glycol. Voila!! This is baker's vanilla.
See, problem with vanilla, whether real or fake, is that when you put it in a cookie or cake and stick it into the oven at 350 degrees or so, all of the alcohol bakes off along with the vanilla flavor it was carrrying (this is why baked goods with vanilla smell so good when you bake them: the good flavor is in the air and not in your cookie or cake). Ethylene glycol does not flash off at ordinary oven temps like alcohol, so it keeps the vanilla flavor in your Toll House cookie.
So, this is one case where the fakey, chemically, nasty sounding stuff is actually better for your cakes and cookies and brownies than the real/natural stuff.
So there. This odd tid-bit brought to you by someone marginally involved with factory-production B&P.
Please, this applies to baked goods only. For desserts, custards, sauces, etc, skip the extract and go directly to the vanilla bean; Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200.

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