Why does vanilla extract get all the attention? Seems like every single recipe calls for a teaspoon or so of this tired brown liquid. No disrespect to vanilla, but–wait. I take that back. Disrespect indeed. This King of Extracts has ruled for too long, and for what? An assumed flavor enhancement that we all just accept, even though if you taste the darn liquid straight up it burns like a bitter earthy fire in your mouth.
I know that when “science” comes into play its supposed to make food like cakes taste better, but have you ever forgotten to add vanilla and then truly missed its presence? Probably not. So, why are we stuck worshiping this nepotism-fueled pantry staple?
Well, turns out in 1875 it was actually part of the law set down Queen Victoria, which stated, “Every baked good shall thee include thy vanilla extractacus.”
Okay, that didn’t happen.
But this isn’t a historical blog and right now there’s no need to look at the past, because the future is here: Orange Extract (or as her supporters are calling her, Orange-X).
Before we get into what Orange-X can help enhance, I encourage you to just taste it straight up (or with ice if you prefer). Not bad, right? I’m not going to be drinking it by the glassful, but it tastes like it should.
I have no allegiance to orange extract brands and nobody has paid me to endorse any, so any type will do. OR if you like the idea of bottles filled with orange rind and vodka sitting around your house for a few months you can follow these instructions from the just-making-noise blog and make it yourself. I do want to try making my own at some point, or I’ll gladly sample someone else’s homemade orange extract.
ORANGE EXTRACT IS BETTER THAN VANILLA EXTRACT
1. Orange French Toast / Pancakes – Many recipes call for vanilla extract, so just swap it out with your new BFF, Orange-X. I think the hint of orange is small change that helps breakfast feel new. Vanilla who?
2. Orange Maple Syrup – If you’re going to spice up French toast or pancakes, you can’t use REGULAR maple syrup. Boring. Add a splash of Orange-X to your favorite syrup. I’ve actually started to like this better than regular maple syrup because it helps cut the sweetness a bit with the citrus tang.
3. Orange Yogurt – You could buy orange yogurt, but what if you wake up one morning and you have a ridiculous craving for something orangey and yogurty? (This is based on a true story, by the way.) All you have in the refrigerator is Noosa honey yogurt, but you do have Orange-X (because it’s now a staple in your cupboard). A few splashes later you’ve just satisfied your craving. Here’s the kicker: Noosa doesn’t even make orange yogurt, so it would be impossible to buy this!
4. Orange Coffee – Even though I like my lattes sweet and creamy like dessert, I’m not a huge fan of flavored coffees. There’s always an overwhelmingly manufactured taste that steps on the coffee flavor. For the most part, I like my coffee to taste like coffee (albeit with copious amounts of milk and sugar), but occasionally it’s a real hoot to try something new and adding a few drops of Orange-X is a nice change. Breakfast often includes OJ and coffee, so why not sort-of-combine the two?
5. Orange Whipped Cream – I love the combination of chocolate and orange. I love the combination of chocolate cake and whipped cream. If only there were a way to combine those two statements into a an easy dessert that my whole mouf will enjoy… Most of the time when making fresh whipped cream, I toss that wretched vanilla extract in, so a quick substitution of Orange-X helps pop a bit of orange into an otherwise pedestrian meal. Just wait for your mother-in-law to be all like, “Is that…do I taste…ORANGE?”
You get the point.
Any other ideas on how we can bring down the Vanilla Extract Empire from our lives and make room for Orange-X?