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The Versatile Old Bay Spice Mix: History and Recipe

The Versatile Old Bay Spice Mix: History and Recipe

Posted by Renae Colbert on 23rd May 2024

A Brief History of Old Bay Spice Mix

Old Bay Spice Mix is a legendary seasoning blend with a rich history that dates back to the 1940s. Created by German immigrant Gustav Brunn, Old Bay was originally formulated in Baltimore, Maryland. Brunn, who had fled Nazi Germany, brought with him his passion for spices and a secret recipe that would soon become a household staple in the United States. The mix was named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that sailed the Chesapeake Bay, reflecting the seasoning's roots in the region known for its seafood.

Traditionally, Old Bay Spice Mix has been used to season crabs, shrimp, and other shellfish, making it a beloved ingredient in seafood dishes. However, its unique blend of 18 herbs and spices, including mustard, paprika, celery salt, and bay leaves, has made it a versatile addition to various culinary creations. Today, Old Bay is enjoyed not only with seafood but also with chicken, fries, popcorn, and more.

For a deeper dive into our fresh, onsite blended Old Bay Seasoning Mix, check out our Old Bay Spice Mix webpage.

Recipe: Old Bay Shrimp (Prawn) Boil


  • 1kg large prawns, deveined and shells on or seafood mix
  • 2 litres water or enough to cover seafood
  • 1/2 cup Old Bay Spice Mix
  • 2 lemons, halved
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 ears of corn, cut into thirds
  • baby potatoes
  • 2 smoked sausages or chorizo, sliced into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Lemon wedges (for serving)


  1. In a large pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the Old Bay Spice Mix, lemons, onion, and garlic. Let it simmer for 5 minutes to infuse the flavours.
  2. Add the baby potatoes to the pot and cook for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to soften.
  3. Add the corn and sausage to the pot and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Finally, add the seafood to the pot and cook until they turn pink.
  5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the seafood, sausage, corn, and potatoes to a large serving dish.
  6. Drizzle the melted butter over the shrimp boil and garnish with fresh parsley. Serve with lemon wedges on the side.

Enjoy this delightful and easy-to-make Old Bay Shrimp Boil with family and friends. It’s perfect for a casual gathering and is sure to be a hit!

Versatility and Tradition

Old Bay Spice Mix is not just for seafood boils; its versatile nature makes it a fantastic seasoning for various dishes. Here are a few traditional uses and modern twists for this iconic spice blend:

  • Seafood: Sprinkle Old Bay on crab cakes, grilled fish, and prawn skewers.
  • Poultry: Season chicken wings, drumsticks, or a whole roast chicken with Old Bay for a zesty kick.
  • Snacks: Add a dash of Old Bay to popcorn, roasted nuts, or even French fries for a flavourful snack.
  • Vegetables: Toss roasted or grilled vegetables with Old Bay for a spicy, aromatic touch.
  • Soups and Stews: Enhance the flavour of your soups and stews with a spoonful of Old Bay.

By incorporating Old Bay Spice Mix into your cooking, you can elevate everyday dishes with its distinctive flavour. Be sure to explore our fresh blend of Old Bay Seasoning Mix on our Old Bay Spice Mix webpage for more inspiration and to experience the quality of our products firsthand.

Happy cooking!

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