Is "1 teaspoon vanilla" the same as one teaspoon vanilla extract?!
Many professional cooks and bakers prefer the taste of imitation vanilla in their recipes. One teaspoon of one is the same as one teaspoon of the other.
Most recipes call for vanilla extract, even though they don't say so. I think it's because vanilla, unless it is in bean form, is really the 'extract' of the vanilla. To get this vanilla bean to extract it's wonderfulness one must 'percolate' it or otherwise process it. And, seconds or third processing, or extending the first processing with added alcohol and oils, well, now you're getting into imitations.
By law, pure extracts have to be a certain percentage of the actual 'liquor' or above. Then, below that percentage it has to be labeled as an imitation. Lots of imitations do well in baking (of most things) because of the oven heat and usually longer processing. (Dry heat, evaporates more and faster.) however, in custards, puddings, creams and frosting, the pure extract is preferred.
have the clouds cleared a bit?
it could mean vanilla extract or vanilla bean
most of the time its vanilla extract
Yes, you also can use imitation vanilla.