What’s Old Bay Seasoning?

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If you’re from Maryland, chances are you know and love Old Bay seasoning. Used on everything from crab cakes to clam bake, the seasoning is a seafood staple. Old Bay originated in Baltimore, Maryland over 75 years ago, and it’s made with a combination of celery salt, red and black pepper, and paprika. Not only does it taste amazing on seafood, it tastes just as good on poultry. And it’s actually super easy to make.

A Full History

Old Bay is popular in the mid-Atlantic and Southern regions of the U.S., and it’s used across the country to add a spicy, citrusy flavor to seafood dishes.

According to the Baltimore Sun, the spice blend is named after the Old Bay Line, a local steamship that traveled from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia during the early 20th century. It was invented by Gustav Brunn, a German-Jewish immigrant, who was trying to find the perfect seasoning for crab. Since then, it has been used for lobster rolls, crab cakes, shrimp, corn on the cob, and deviled eggs.

The seasoning is actually pretty easy to make, and all you need to do is combine celery salt, paprika, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, mustard powder, ground nutmeg, ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground allspice, ground cloves, and ground ginger.