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Vanilla Ice Cream vs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Vanilla Ice Cream vs Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

Two of the most popular ice cream flavors are vanilla bean and regular vanilla ice cream. But have you ever wondered what the difference between the two is?

It’s a great question and the answer is, regular vanilla ice cream and vanilla bean ice cream are NOT the same thing.

Read on for the complete guide for vanilla ice cream vs vanilla bean ice cream.

Vanilla Ice Cream and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream Similarities and Differences

bowl of vanilla bean ice cream

On average, each person in the US eats 20.8 liters of ice cream per year. And two of the most popular flavors sound similar, but they are not the same thing!

While regular vanilla and vanilla bean are quite similar in flavor there is an important difference. And if you are a fan of ice, it’s not a bad idea knowing what makes these two ice cream flavors unique.

Related: No Churn Vanilla Ice Cream without Heavy Cream

What is Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

bowl of vanilla bean ice cream and whole vanilla bean pod

Vanilla bean ice cream generally has a more natural and deep vanilla flavor. This is due to the bits of unprocessed vanilla bean that is blended into the ice cream.

Vanilla bean is cultivated from the vanilla orchid. These pods are filled with the flavor packed vanilla bean, which is the not so secret ingredient that makes vanilla bean ice cream really pop!

Vanilla bean ice cream generally costs more than regular vanilla ice cream and can be a little harder to find in certain locations.

While you may not find as many vanilla bean ice cream options in your local grocery stores freezer section, it is well worth the extra cost to most as the flavor is truly rich and delicious.

Related: Substitutes for Vanilla Bean

What is Regular Vanilla Ice Cream

vanilla ice cream scoop in ice cream cone

Most brands of regular vanilla ice cream do not contain authentic vanilla bean. Instead, regular vanilla is generally flavored with vanilla extract (and not always pure vanilla extract).

That means regular vanilla ice cream tends to have a less complex vanilla flavor. While that does not mean regular vanilla ice cream doesn’t taste good, many brands do make a great vanilla ice cream. But it does mean that most regular vanilla ice cream brands do not provide as rich and deep of flavor as vanilla bean ice cream.

Regular vanilla ice cream is the most popular flavor in the US. And when you order a vanilla ice cream at an ice cream shop or restaurant this is probably what you are getting.

Related: Flavors that go with Vanilla

Bottom Line

three vanilla and chocolate shakes

Don’t get me wrong, while I do prefer the deep complex vanilla flavor of vanilla bean ice cream, my family and I also eat a lot of regular vanilla ice cream.

Both types are perfect for making shakes, Sundays, or topping pie! No matter which type you have on hand you have one of the most popular, and tastiest, ice cream flavors ever created.