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Vanilla more expensive than silver, impacting local bakers

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FARGO — Reports show the price of vanilla is higher than silver and our local bakeries are feeling the pain.

Nichole Hensen of Nichole's Fine Pastry says getting a gallon of vanilla extract or paste costs her about $350 a gallon.

It's more than double from two years ago.

She says bad weather is affecting vanilla crops in Madagascar.

The plant has to be picked and processed by hand, no machines to help them out.

Nichole's staff is being extra careful with vanilla, but still, use the right amount for dishes like vanilla bean cake and creme brulee.

"When an ingredient we like to eat gets compared to precious metals, I think that's an interesting scenario," Nichole Hensen said. "That tells you something."

Nichole doesn't think the price will keep getting higher, but doesn't know if and when it will ever go back down.

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