How to Tell Natural Spices From Fake Spices
Vanilla pods retain their flavor for several years. If they are of a good quality, they should have curls at their ends. They appear chocolate in color, should be flexible and vary in size from 15 to 25 cm (6-10″) long. The pods should also be slightly flexible. Even if they are not of the best quality, the aroma of vanilla is still strong, unlike its synthetic analog, vanillin.