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Mexican vanilla. How do I know if it is safe and real?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
A friend brought me back a large bottle of vanilla from Cozamel, Mexico. The label says Pure Natural Vanilla. Old Fashioned. No Coumarin.

I can't find any information on the web. It smells WONDERFUL! Hardly a trace of alcohol smell. From everything I have read online, it should have a high alcohol content and be amber in color. I have never had an amber colored vanilla??

Can I trust a label from Mexico? According the web, Mexico isn't very strict on label laws.
post #2 of 18
maybe use it for yourself first before serving it to others?
Let them eat cake!
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Let them eat cake!
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
I have tried it myself. It was great. But I'm a bit uneasy about the validity of the label proclaiming "no coumarin".
post #4 of 18
From what I know of Mexican Vanilla it has a different taste to it. My sister uses it in her home baking and it always tastes like there are other spices in it, but it is just the taste of the Mexican Vanilla. Sorry I can't help on the labelling part though.
post #5 of 18
Well here is a link of some interesting information.

http://www.bfr.bund.de/cd/8487

I know that Mexican chocolate is chocolate with cinnamon. And cinnamon is a widely used spice in Mexican cuisine.

HTH
I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
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I am no longer active on CC.  They will not let me delete my account.
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post #6 of 18
I buy several bottles every time I go to Mexico. The bottle is labeled "Mexican Vanilla Totonac's". It is 33.2 oz. I have been using it for years. It smells and tastes great. I also give it as gifts. No one that I know of has had any problems.
post #7 of 18
Coumarin does not come from cinnamon in Mexican vanilla - some folks will make "vanilla" out of tonka beans which have a vanilla-like taste. It's the tonka beans that have the coumarin.

Can you "prove" the label is correct - no. Does an ingredient list only show vanilla beans and alcohol - then label is probably correct. Is there no ingredient list? I would use it and not worry - I LOVE Mexican vanilla and I buy a clear version whenever I get a chance and am down there.

Have seen a website for Mexican vanilla that states their products meet FDA requirements and are bottled in the US if you want to be extrasure - it is www.mexicanvanilla.com
post #8 of 18
I LOVE Mexican vanilla. It definitely has a different taste and I think it's wonderful. Go ahead and try it!
post #9 of 18
We buy cases of mexican vanilla called La Vencedora and in the 7 years we have been in business we havent had any problem! We actually get compliments on our sweet bread and alot has to do with the kind of vanilla you use. Anyways as somebody else suggested try it for something in the home and then if its to your liking then you can use it for cakes for somebody else. hth
post #10 of 18
YOU ARE SO WISE TO BE WARY!!!! It's one of those products that may be OK, but then again, it may not, so why chance it?

Mexican vanilla is a slippery slope. The issue has been use of the tonka bean--a source of coumarin, a blood thinner.

Just because a baker "hasn't had any problem with it" doesn't mean all is well. If someone already taking a blood thinner or who has issues with this blood thinner, eats something with courmain in it, it could be harmful to them. They wouldn't know it was in there and the baker might never hear about the problem.

"The FDA is advising consumers to be cautious when buying vanilla in Mexico and other Latin American countries, to look for vanilla bean on the labels ingredient list, and to not buy the product if it says tonka bean or has a vague ingredient list or no list at all."

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048613.htm

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_93.html

I've been to Mexico 5 times. Every time, I've passed up lovely smelling, cheap vanilla because I don't want the risk.

My MIL is on blood thinners and I'd chase down and ruin ANYONE who knowingly, or unknowingly, caused her a moment of worry or harm.................

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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post #11 of 18
Great information BlakesCakes! That would definitely put an end to the thought of using it for others if that was me. Why take a chance when you can't be sure.
post #12 of 18
If it is cheap, it more than likely uses the tonka bean for flavoring. Tonka beans are cheap, Vanilla beans - even in Mexico- aren't. The danger is not for the average person. But it can be very serious for people on blood thinners. I have a large bottle of Mexican Vanilla in my cupboard which I suspect isn't real vanilla. I use it with caution.
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes

YOU ARE SO WISE TO BE WARY!!!! It's one of those products that may be OK, but then again, it may not, so why chance it?

Mexican vanilla is a slippery slope. The issue has been use of the tonka bean--a source of coumarin, a blood thinner.

Just because a baker "hasn't had any problem with it" doesn't mean all is well. If someone already taking a blood thinner or who has issues with this blood thinner, eats something with courmain in it, it could be harmful to them. They wouldn't know it was in there and the baker might never hear about the problem.

"The FDA is advising consumers to be cautious when buying vanilla in Mexico and other Latin American countries, to look for vanilla bean on the labels ingredient list, and to not buy the product if it says tonka bean or has a vague ingredient list or no list at all."

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048613.htm

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/cms_ia/importalert_93.html

I've been to Mexico 5 times. Every time, I've passed up lovely smelling, cheap vanilla because I don't want the risk.

My MIL is on blood thinners and I'd chase down and ruin ANYONE who knowingly, or unknowingly, caused her a moment of worry or harm.................

Rae



People on blood thinners probably have more to worry from other foods/herbs/vitamins that are known to thin the blood. Things like garlic, vitamin e , green tea,onions , parsley, gingko, celery etc that are known to thin the blood. Basically people on blood thinners or who are at risk for bleeding should be getting their blood checked for PTT and INR's rather then worry about a small amount of vanilla or these other foods. Yes Mexico has regulations that are more lax then we have but anyone who has heard horror stories about nasty food establishments or other shoddy businesses know that can happen easily here as well. Big brother isn't watching all the time.
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by rainyone



People on blood thinners probably have more to worry from other foods/herbs/vitamins that are known to thin the blood. Things like garlic, vitamin e , green tea,onions , parsley, gingko, celery etc that are known to thin the blood. Basically people on blood thinners or who are at risk for bleeding should be getting their blood checked for PTT and INR's rather then worry about a small amount of vanilla or these other foods. Yes Mexico has regulations that are more lax then we have but anyone who has heard horror stories about nasty food establishments or other shoddy businesses know that can happen easily here as well. Big brother isn't watching all the time.



I'm sorry, but I really fail to see the point here....

And I'm trying really hard...........

to figure out why, if a person who is on blood thinners has to think about all of these common things--and my MIL DOES watch every one of those very carefully--WHY, if we aren't being "watched by Big Brother all the time" we shouldn't take it upon ourselves to remove one small thing that they DON'T have to worry about???

Does not being "watched" somehow make it OK to add to even one person's cummulative risk load?

Even though these (poor) people have to be pin cushion tested to death at Coumadin Clinics-- and are held responsible for their own compliance with diet and medication--, I still don't see how using what could be a potentially adulterated product is justifiable.

Beyond individuals already on blood thinners--who should know "what to look for" when there is a problem, there is also a small percentage of the population with "high normal bleeding times"--basically living at the "edge" of a bleeding disorder--who wouldn't even know that they could be at risk for a problem if exposed to a product containing coumarin..........

Rae
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes



I'm sorry, but I really fail to see the point here....

And I'm trying really hard...........

to figure out why, if a person who is on blood thinners has to think about all of these common things--and my MIL DOES watch every one of those very carefully--WHY, if we aren't being "watched by Big Brother all the time" we shouldn't take it upon ourselves to remove one small thing that they DON'T have to worry about???

Does not being "watched" somehow make it OK to add to even one person's cummulative risk load?

Even though these (poor) people have to be pin cushion tested to death at Coumadin Clinics-- and are held responsible for their own compliance with diet and medication--, I still don't see how using what could be a potentially adulterated product is justifiable.

Beyond individuals already on blood thinners--who should know "what to look for" when there is a problem, there is also a small percentage of the population with "high normal bleeding times"--basically living at the "edge" of a bleeding disorder--who wouldn't even know that they could be at risk for a problem if exposed to a product containing coumarin..........

Rae



but how do you know that anything you use is what it says? here or in mexico. At some point we have to take a chance.

They have to be pin cushioned regardless of what they eat/drink. They have to make sure that the dose of rat poison is effective. Yes coumadin is warfarin and the same thing that kills rats. My mom is on it as well as well as I administer it very often to my patients in my day job as an RN

I personally would use a mexican vanilla that was labeled as not having Coumarin in it. Are you as worried about cinnamon- should we not be baking or eating that as well? It can also have a fair bit of coumarin in it as well. It seems more natural to be more concerned about that then the possibility that the bottle would be mislabeled and your mil would ingest very small amounts ( as in a tbsp in an entire recipe)
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