Great cooking and baking rely on great ingredients. Start with the best ingredients and, chances are, you’ll come out with some terrific-tasting food. And we’ve found when it comes to pure vanilla and flavor extracts, you can’t do better than Nielsen-Massey.
Nielsen-Massey is one of those increasingly rare, family-owned companies. Founded in 1907 by Richard Massey, who later partnered with Chatfield Nielsen, Sr, the company is run by a third generation of Nielsens. They are committed to using the best methods to produce flavors from quality raw materials.
Our editors sampled three Nielsen-Massey products:
Organic Fairtraded Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract– At RFT, we know that you can use imitation vanilla flavor at a fraction of the cost of real vanilla, but DON’T DO IT! While imitation vanilla may contain a hint of vanillin derived from vanilla beans, the majority of it is lignin, a wood pulp byproduct. And you don’t want to be eating a wood byproduct. The flavor of imitation vanilla isn’t very good and it tends to bake off in the oven.
In contrast, Nielsen-Massey’s Madasgascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract contains organic vanilla bean extracts, water and alcohol—nothing else. They use vanilla beans grown on the Bourbon Island of Madagascar and use a cold extraction process that draws out more than 300 flavor compounds.
The aroma is soft, creamy, and pure vanilla. It’s mellow flavor doesn’t have the sharp edges of imitation vanilla and it’s perfect for baking or cooking.
This product comes in 2-,4-,8- and 32-ounce bottles and is Kosher and Gluten-Free. It’s also all natural and uses no GMO products or preservatives.
Pure Coffee Extract– Often in baking, recipes call for coffee flavor. You can use freshly brewed coffee, but, often the recipe doesn’t want that much liquid. Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Coffee Extract is a perfect choice for adding the rich, freshly brewed flavor of coffee without all the liquid. And it’s convenient. I can’t tell you the number of times a recipe calls for brewed coffee and I don’t happen to have any on hand. Instead of stopping and brewing up coffee, I just use Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Coffee Extract. Unlike coffee beans, it also keeps well in your cupboard with losing flavor.
Nielsen-Massey makes this extract by distilling premium coffee beans for full-bodied coffee flavor. One teaspoon of coffee extract equals 1 teaspoon dry expresso powder or 1 teaspoon coffee extract plus ¼ cup of water equals ¼ cup of brewed coffee. It’s perfect for frozen desserts, baked goods and cocoa as well as savory dishes, like soups, gravies, tomato sauces and salsas. We used a splash of this Nielsen-Massey Coffee Extract in a creamy chocolate buttercream frosting and it lent a lovely depth of flavor to our cupcakes.
Pure Almond Extract – For bakers, almond extract is a favorite. The aroma of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure
Almond Extract is delicately sweet, almost floral, like standing in an orchard of flowering almond trees. They make it with the purest oil of bitter almonds. It contains only alcohol, natural oil of bitter almond, and water.
A little goes a long way with pure almond extracts like Nielsen-Massey’s. Just a touch adds a lot of almond flavor. You can use just the extract alone or combine ¼ teaspoon of almond extract with 1 tablespoon of sugar to make almond paste.
We suggest using Nielsen-Massey’s almond extract in baking. However, it also adds a special flavor to fruits and berries and combines well with other flavors like chocolate, maple, butterscotch and vanilla. You can also use it in savory applications like sauces and salad dressings.
You can find a number of interesting recipes for using Nielsen-Massey vanilla and flavors on their website www.nielsenmassey.com.