Earlier this week I embarked on a journey to France with a lovely friend of mine and I made a really cool discovery. One might think I’m referring to historically significant architecture or fancy art. Nope, we actually just went grocery shopping (yes, I love grocery shopping) and I found this!
You’re probably like me and don’t read or speak French, so I’ll translate: vanilla sugar. It comes in little 8-gram packets and it is delicious. I didn’t exactly know what it was, but it had the words “vanilla” and “sugar” in it so I figured it couldn’t be bad. It’s not. On the contrary, it is good, very, very good, especially in my morning latté.
Up close, it looks like this:
It’s tiny granules of what appears to be white sugar. I didn’t see any flecks of actual vanilla, so I googled the stuff to see what I could find out. Google mostly returned French websites, which was no help to me at all, but finally I stumbled on a post all about French sugar by David Lebovitz. According to him, it is vanilla-scented sugar that is called for in French recipes. You can use it in baking and substitute 8 grams of sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla for one packet of sucre vanillé. I haven’t attempted any French baking recipes, and likely won’t, so I’ll just continue to use it in my coffee! What I like about it is that it’s not overly sweet and just gives a hint of vanilla flavor.
It’s available in French grocery stores, but if that’s a bit far for you then look for it on Amazon. (I did a cursory search and saw Dr. Oetker Vanillin Zucker – it’s the same thing.) But don’t be like me and only buy one package and then feel like you have to conserve it. Whether you use it in baking or just in your coffee I have a feeling you’re going to love it, so buy it in bulk if you can.