Always buy vanilla in specialty cookware shops or food shops. There are many varieties of extracts and beans. Buy only pure extracts, not imitation. Madagascar produces excellent quality vanilla, and bourbon vanilla from Tahiti is another good variety. (It does not contain bourbon, but gets its name from the Bourbon Islands.) After whole vanilla beans are used, dry them off and immerse them in sugar in a sealed container. After several weeks, the sugar will pick up the vanilla flavor and can be used when you want the addition of vanilla flavoring. Use only very good quality pure almond extract. Imitation flavors have more of an alcohol taste than an almond flavor.