Old Bay Seasoning
Old Bay Seasoning has been a Chesapeake Bay favorite for seasoning crab and seafood for over 60 years. Old Bay is a proprietary blend of 18 herbs and spices including: celery salt, mustard, paprika, bay leaf, crushed red pepper flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom and ginger.
Old Bay History
Old Bay was developed in 1939 by Gustav Brunn, a German immigrant who fled Nazi Germany and settled in Maryland. According to Wikipedia, crabs were so bountiful in those days that bars in Maryland gave the crabs away for free in hopes of attracting cocktail customers. Old Bay seasoning was thought to make customers thirsty and more likely to purchase a drink.
Old Bay was originally named "Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning," but was eventually renamed after the Old Bay Line, a Chesapeake Bay passenger ship in the early 1900's. Today the product is owned by McCormick and Company, which sells over 50 million ounces of Old Bay a year.
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Old Bay uses
While Old Bay was originally developed for crab and shrimp, it is used with many savory dishes, including: popcorn, Bloody Marys, deviled eggs, potato salad, chicken, french fries, baked potato, pizza, gumbo and corn on the cob.