Vanilla paste combines the best of both bean and extract. It has the consistency of a thick syrup and holds hundreds of vanilla seeds in suspension. It's like vanilla extract in its strength and how it is used but has the added visual benefit of the black seeds associated with a vanilla bean. However, it can give custards a strange texture and cause icings to separate so be careful if subbing it for vanilla extract or beans in a recipe. Look for it at specialty stores.
Vanilla extract; vanilla beans
Like extract, if vanilla paste is stored in a dark, cool place, it should last for at least 6 months.