About Vanilla & Flavorings

What is “Bourbon” vanilla?

Bourbon vanilla takes its name from the French Bourbon Islands, in turn named after the French royal line. These islands now include Madagascar and La Reunion. French colonists propagated vanilla using the hand-pollination method devised by botanist Charles Morren in the 19th century. Hand pollination revolutionized the vanilla trade by allowing cultivation far beyond its native Mexico. These French origins are how vanilla planifolia, the “classic” vanilla whose flavor profile is the most recognizable, became known as Bourbon vanilla.

What is the difference in flavor profiles of Bourbon and Tahitian vanilla?

Bourbon vanilla, the world’s most widely recognized vanilla, is complex and rich. Its dominant characteristics can vary slightly depending on the region in which it is grown. Madagascar Bourbon vanilla is deep and cream, enhancing any ingredient it’s paired with. Tongan Bourbon vanilla is sweeter, and sharper, adding a standout floral note. Indonesian Bourbon is spicy and earthy. Tahitian vanilla, on the other hand, is sweet, tropical, and floral—unique and unforgettable.

How many vanilla beans are in a gallon of vanilla extract?

Pure vanilla extract must contain at least 13-1/3 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon. Our formulas are proprietary, but that is the minimum. (For two-fold, three-fold, four-fold, etc vanilla extract, multiply that number by 13-1/3.)

What is the difference between Natural, Organic, and Pure Vanilla Extracts?

By law, pure vanilla extracts must contain at least 35% alcohol and 13.35 ounces of vanilla beans per gallon. No other “flavoring agents” are allowed. That includes added vanillin. The only flavor permitted is what comes from the vanilla bean.

Natural extracts contain all natural ingredients. There is no formal definition of a “natural” food in the USDA.

Organic extracts are Pure extracts whose ingredients have all been certified by CCOF and USDA as organic.

All of Cook’s Organic extracts are also Pure, and all of Cook’s Pure extracts are also Natural.

About Cook’s Products

What is special about Cook’s pure vanilla extract?

What sets Cook’s apart is the expertise of dedicated flavor chemists, a 100-year history of innovation and experimentation, and an artist’s passion for this exotic spice. Vanilla beans burst with more than 300 flavor components, which only extract can capture. Raymond Lochhead pioneered our proprietary slow, cold, direct extraction to enhance each of these components. But the most important difference is the beans we select for our extracts: vine-ripened and split, and carefully cured. Only good beans can make good vanilla, no matter the process. The vanilla bean market is highly volatile. We remain dedicated to sourcing only the finest beans—no matter the circumstances.

Where do Cook’s vanilla beans originate?

We source most of our beans from Madagascar, where we work directly with small farmers and artisanal curers. We own a plantation in Fiji, and also source beans from Tonga, Tahiti, Papua New Guinea, Uganda and Mexico. We are always investigating emerging vanilla markets. Where we find great beans, we buy.

Are your extracts GMO-free?

Yes. We use pure and simple raw ingredients, which have not been processed to modify their proteins or DNA, in all our extracts, powders, and flavorings. In our own manufacturing, we do not subject our products to any process that would cause genetic modification.

Which powders are free of corn-based ingredients?

Our Organic Vanilla Powder.

Is your Pure Almond Extract allergen-free?

Yes. Our Pure Almond and Pure Organic Almond Extracts are allergen-free. They are not derived from nuts. The flavor is extracted from oil of bitter almond, which is derived from stone fruit pits. It is safe for anyone with a nut allergy. Cook Flavoring Company / R.R. Lochhead Manufacturing Company facilities do not contain any nut or gluten products. We are an allergen-free facility, and make food quality and safety our first priority.

What is the Organic Vanilla Powder base, if not dextrose?

Organic sucrose.

What is the alcohol base for Cook’s products?

All products use an organic alcohol derived from organic sugar cane. It is gluten-free.

Are your products gluten-free?

All our products are gluten-free!

Which flavors are alcohol-free?

Cookbook Vanilla, Pure Vanilla Powder, Pure Almond Powder, Sweet Dough Flavor, Colombian Coffee Flavor, Coconut Flavor.

Why does Cook’s take the extra step to remove terpenes from your citrus extracts?

Terpenes are a natural waxy compound found in the peel of a citrus such as lemon or orange. The oil of citrus, pressed for extract, still contains these terpenes, which will turn the oil rancid and harsh. By removing them, we guarantee a fresh extract with no rancidity problem and a very long shelf life.

Product Usage & Recommendations

How can I use Pure Vanilla Powder?

Cook’s Pure Vanilla Powder, developed by Raymond Lochhead, was the first pure vanilla alternative to vanilla extract on the market. It remains one of our most beloved products—found in protein shakes, pastries, and cafes all around the world. You can use it as a one-to-one substitute anywhere you would use Pure Vanilla Extract. Popular uses include flavor-plus-sweetening in coffee and espresso beverages, protein shakes, granola bars, pastry crusts, and more.

How many teaspoons per ounce of Pure Vanilla Powder?

There are 7 teaspoons per ounce of Vanilla Powder.

How much Bourbon Extract would be the equivalent of 8 oz of Bourbon?

You would use about 20 oz of Bourbon Extract.

How much Pure Maple Extract should I use if my recipe calls for imitation maple flavor?

Use a one-to-one substitution.

Orders & Customer Support

What payment methods do you accept?

We accept all major credit cards including Discover, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

I am interested in purchasing product(s) from Cook Flavoring Company / R.R. Lochhead Manufacturing Company. Where do I begin?

We take deep pride in our relationships with our customers, and would love to work with you directly to find the best vanilla or flavorings for your products. Please contact us directly, call us at 1-800-735-0545, or email us at cooks@cooksvanilla.com, and we will put you in touch with the right person.

Can I have a product shipped outside of the U.S.?

Yes, although some of these orders cannot be processed through our website. We ship to Canada and Mexico via DHL on our website. Please call us at 1-805-238-3400 or email cooks@cooksvanilla.com to discuss shipping to other countries or for more shipping options.

What are Cook’s shipping policies for wholesale and retail customers?


For wholesale customers, we offer prepaid LTL shipping for orders of 36 cases or higher (minimum weight: 1440 pounds). For orders under 1440 pounds or 36 cases, all product is FOB Paso Robles, California.

We use the following carriers to ship our products:

  • USPS
  • FedEx
  • UPS

Shipping Rates

For shipping in the continental United States:

For Packages under 15 lbs : Complimentary
For Packages from 15-40 lbs: $20 Flat fee
For packages above 40 lbs: $40 Flat fee

For shipping to Alaska and Hawaii:

For Packages under 15 lbs : $10 Flat fee
For Packages from 15-40 lbs: $38 Flat fee
For packages above 40 lbs: $70 Flat fee

For shipping to Mexico and Canada:

DHL rate (calculated) at checkout based on location and weight.

For all other international orders:

Please call 805-238-3400 to arrange shipping.

Lost, Stolen, or Damaged Packages

Cook Flavoring Company is not responsible or liable for any lost or stolen packages. The packages delivered by USPS or UPS are confirmed by the deliverer with a tracking number scan. Once the package is scanned and has left our facility, it is no longer the carrier or Cook Flavoring Companies’ responsibility. If your package is damaged please call 800-735-0545 or email cooks@cooksvanilla.com.

My order did not go through, but my credit card was charged. Why?

Declines due to Address Verification System mismatch will lead to a hold on the authorized funds. The funds will remain on the customer’s card until the card issuing bank removes the authorization. As a result, the held funds may be subtracted from the customer’s available balance, and an online statement may reflect the authorization request which might be mistaken for an actual charge. Most card issuing banks will remove authorizations within 3-7 days if they are not claimed for settlement.

Why was my order declined?

Usually orders are declined due to a mismatch of address, zip code, or security code. If all the information was correct, please call us at 800-735-0545.