In Maryland, there are few things more iconic than Old Bay Seasoning. The spice blend is best known for pairing with seafood, but Marylanders know it can be used on chicken, popcorn, pizza, French fries, vegetables, and more. Check out the interesting history behind Old Bay that you may not know!
What’s In Old Bay?
For those who aren’t from Maryland, you may be questioning what exactly is in a container of Old Bay Seasoning. The spice blend was created over 75 years ago containing 18 spices and herbs, including mustard, celery salt, paprika, and red pepper and black pepper. The entire list of ingredients has never been publicized, but many people have tried to create a copy of the spice blend. The can states that the seasoning is made for seafood, poultry, salads, and meats, but there are endless food options that Old Bay can be paired with.
Who Created The Spice?
Old Bay was founded by Gustav Brunn, a German immigrant, in 1939. Brunn escaped Nazi Germany and came to Baltimore with his spice grinder that he refused to leave behind. He originally named the spice “Delicious Bran Shimp and Crab Seasoning,” but later changed it to Old Bay as a reference to the Old Bay Line steamship route on the Chesapeake Bay.
Who Owns Old Bay Now?
In 1990, McCormick & Company bought Old Bay from Brunn, but decided to keep its classic yellow tin, which has remained an essential element of the packaging today. The brand has various Old Bay food items in addition to the seasoning, including tartar sauce, cocktail sauce, crab cake mix, and salmon classic cake mix. They also sell a variety of seasonings, including garlic and herb, lower sodium, hot, and of course- the original Old Bay.
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