Gerry Newman buys vanilla by the gallon. He's co-owner of Albemarle Baking Co., in Charlottesville, Va., and vanilla goes into everything from his cookies to pastry cream.
A few years ago, each 1-gallon bottle of organic, fair-trade vanilla set him back $64. Today, it's $245, more than Newman can comfortably stomach.
It's a global phenomenon, hitting pastry chefs and ice cream makers alike. Some have changed their recipes to use less vanilla. Newman has switched suppliers to find a cheaper product.