(See also Essences and Extracts.)

The best Mexican vanilla yields only in the neighborhood of 1.7 per cent of vanillin; that from Reunion and Guadeloupe about 2.5 per cent; and that from Java 2.75 per cent. There seems to be but little connection between the quantity of vanillin contained in vanilla pods and their quality as a flavor producer. Mexican beans are esteemed the best and yet they contain far less than the Java. Those from Brazil and Peru contain much less than those from Mexico, and yet they are considered inferior in quality to most others. The vanillin of the market is chiefly, if not entirely, artificial and is made from the coniferin of such pines and firs as abies excelsa, a pectinata, pinus cembra, and p. strobus, as well as from the eugenol of cloves and allspice. Vanillin also exists in asparagus, lupine seeds, the seeds of the common wild rose, asafetida, and gum benzoin.

A good formula for a vanilla extract is the following:

Vanilla..........     1 ounce

Tonka...........     2 ounces

Alcohol, deodorized...........   32 fluidounces

Syrup...........     8 fluidounces

Cut and bruise the vanilla, afterwards adding and bruising the Tonka; macerate for 14 days in 16 fluidounces of the alcohol, with occasional agitation; pour off the clear liquid and set aside; pour the remaining alcohol on the magma, and heat by means of a water bath to about 168° F., in a closely covered vessel. Keep it at that temperature for 2 or 3 hours, then strain through flannel with slight pressure; mix the two portions of liquid and filter through felt. Lastly, add the syrup. To render this tincture perfectly clear it may be treated with pulverized magnesium carbonate, using from 0.5 to 1 drachm to each pint.