For the baker with a nose that knows: he or she will so appreciate the aromatic glory and deeply indulgent difference of Vanilla from The Spice House.
Also for your Starbucks or local grind junky who has an interminable weakness for Vanilla lattes.
Note: I was introduced to the The Spice House by Chicago Food Planet Food Tours several years back, when I was living in the Windy City and my parents came to visit. The Vanilla they offer is miles away from what you can buy at a convenience grocery store. It is rich and layered and almost savory. Never in my life did I anticipate becoming a Vanilla snob, but I’ll freely and gladly take the title. When I found out The Spice House shipped its merchandise I immediately made a mental note to send a few jars to my Mom for Mother’s Day that year. It. Is. So. Good.
Either option works well for baking or coffee, but I’d recommend the liquid for the former and the powder for the latter.
If you’re ever in Chicago and you’re looking for something to do, treat yourself to a Food Tour by Chicago Food Planet. It’s brilliant fun, gets you walking, teaches you a great deal about a range of foods and restaurants, tells brick and mortar history, and comes with samples of the best tastes Chi-town has to offer. This company is so well loved that dozens upon dozens of food tour start-ups have mimicked them to find huge success in cities spanning the nation.