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When you visit Maryland, chances are your To Do list includes eating seafood. And chances are, that seafood will be seasoned to perfection with Baltimore’s own Old Bay Seafood Seasoning. This concoction of spices has been around for 76 years and its story is nothing short of delicious. Here are all the spicy details, plus a recipe to boot.
Old Bay Seafood Seasoning was originally named “Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning,” because … you guessed it! It was a great way to season shrimp and crab. Eventually, the creators decided to change its name to something a little catchier. They went with Old Bay after a steamship line that traveled the Chesapeake Bay in between Maryland and Virginia.
This bold, zesty flavoring was created more than 70 years ago using 18 spices and herbs. Today it’s made using the same spices and herbs that have become so popular with home cooks and restaurants around the world. In fact, Old Bay isn’t just for shrimp and crab. It can be used pretty much on anything and everything from seafood to poultry, pizza to pasta, as well as salads, vegetables and more. Personal favorite: Try a little Old Bay on corn on the cob the next time you make it!
Old Bay is available in many grocery stores and markets. Choose from 25 products, including Classic Old Bay Seafood Seasoning, Hot Old Bay Seasoning, Old Bay Rub, Old Bay cocktail sauce, crab cake mix and much more. Old Bay Seasoning is also available with 30% less sodium.
Want to give cooking with Old Bay a try at home? This Original Old Bay Shrimp Boil Shrimp Fest Recipe is a classic. It can be found on the Old Bay website along with many more recipes!
4 quarts water (16 cups)
1 can (12 ounces) beer (optional)
1/2 cup OLD BAY® Seasoning
2 tablespoons salt
8 medium red potatoes, quartered
2 large onions, cut into wedges
2 pounds lean smoked sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
8 ears fresh corn, shucked and halved crosswise
4 pounds unpeeled jumbo shrimp (21 to 25 count)
Bring water, beer, OLD BAY Seasoning and salt to boil in 12-quart stockpot on high heat. Add potatoes and onions. Cook 8 minutes. Add smoked sausage. Cook 5 minutes. Add corn. Cook 7 minutes.
Stir in shrimp. Cook 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink.
Drain cooking liquid. Pour contents of pot into large serving bowl or platter. Or, mound on paper-covered table. Sprinkle with additional OLD BAY Seasoning, if desired.
If you’re planning a trip to Baltimore, let the Wayside Inn serve as your home base during your visit. Our Ellicott City bed and breakfast is a romantic retreat from everyday reality. The Wayside Inn is the perfect place for you to escape. After a day spent exploring the Baltimore area, come back to The Wayside Inn where you can relax in one of our six beautiful, quaint rooms. Wake up refreshed and enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast that you’re sure to love.
Photo Credit: Mike Mozart / Old Bay Seasoning / Flickr