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I have used some vanilla pods that I bought on a farm in Mauritius to make crème anglaise. Because the pods are a bit special, I have fished them out of the cream and left them to dry. They smell as amazing as before, and they look fine.

Is it likely to be safe to use them in a second recipe? Any suggestions about what to cook?

(Obviously if someone says they're safe and they turn out not to be, it's my fault, not theirs!)

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I have a similar question: how long can you store them? I bought two pods in one tube some months ago, but I only needed one. Will the second one be still as good? – Mien Feb 9 '11 at 10:44

No, I wouldn't use something that had been in cream and then dried at room temperature. There is nothing to protect from bacteria growing. Used vanilla beans in sugar might not work since most of the flavor has been removed. It would have been ok in the fridge for a couple of days. One way to store vanilla is in brandy.

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If they have been in cream, I'd be a bit worried about the cream going off. If you have washed them first they might be ok.

You could always try storing them in a jar of sugar, for nice vanilla sugar...

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