Closeup of vanilla Beans on tray
What's The Distinction Between Vanilla And French Vanilla?
Vanilla comes from the vanilla orchid, native to Mexico and also cultivated in Madagascar, Tahiti, Uganda, and Indonesia. It can be used in countless different desserts and dishes.
"French vanilla" is more of a specific dessert-related term than just "vanilla." Traditionally, French vanilla is a style of vanilla ice cream with a distinct flavor and texture.
French vanilla ice cream uses a custard base made with egg yolks, sugar, and milk. This is cooked until it thickens before churning, resulting in a velvety, luscious consistency.
French vanilla ice cream is more yellow in color than regular vanilla ice cream due to its use of extra egg yolks, and is richer and heavier in flavor and texture.
Classic vanilla ice cream is more white in color, lighter in texture, and typically uses a cream base that lacks egg yolks, which results in a less dense, simpler-tasting dessert.
You may also see other desserts, coffee creamers, and even products like candles labeled as French vanilla. The idea is to suggest a richer, more refined take on classic vanilla.