Old Bay seasoning
About Old Bay seasoning
Old Bay seasoning is a blend of herbs and spices that is currently marketed in the United States by McCormick & Company, and produced in Maryland. It is produced in the Chesapeake Bay area where it was developed by German immigrant Gustav Brunn in the 1940s, and where the seasoning is very popular to this day. At that time, crabs were so plentiful that bars in Baltimore, Maryland, offered them free and seasonings like Old Bay were created to encourage patrons to purchase more beverages. Old Bay is just one of many crab seasonings created during that era, yet is one of a few that survived. Notable others are J.O. Spice and Baltimore Spice. McCormick recently has offered a lower salt version of Old Bay Seasoning.
Old Bay Seasoning is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, in the early 1900s. Gustav Brunn’s company became the Old Bay Company, producing crab seasonings in the unique yellow can container until the company was purchased by McCormick & Co around 1990. McCormick continues to offer Old Bay in the classic yellow can.
The seasoning mix includes mustard, paprika, celery seed, bay leaf, both black and red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, salt and ginger. It is regionally popular, specifically in Southern States and parts of the Gulf Coast. It is chiefly used to season crab and shrimp.