Old bay is an all-purpose seasoning made with several pungent and flavorful ingredients which has been a flavor enhancer embraced by many people in the USA over centuries. So, in this episode, we wish to share some important details about the spices in old bay seasoning.
The ingredient list of the classic pre-packaged version mentions 4 out of the 18 spices and herbs used and they are,
In addition, we came across many homemade copycat recipes that also include ground spices like cloves, ginger, allspice, mustard, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne pepper, bay leaves, etc. So, here’s everything that you need to know!
What Spices Are In Old Bay Seasoning?
A leading brand first introduced the old bay seasoning in the early 1900s. The exact ingredients used in their traditional recipe are still a well-kept trade secret.
However, this seasoning mix has a depth of flavor and is rich enough to flavor a variety of dishes. So, through this section, we will be digging into the four spices that have been mentioned in the original recipe.
01- Celery Salt
The celery salt used in our subject leader is made by mixing celery seeds and regular salt. This ingredient has a distinctive flavor that combines the potent, grassy, and slight bitter-sweet elements of celery seeds with saltiness.
This spice goes particularly well with black pepper, paprika, and red pepper. Together celery salt complements seafood, meat, and dishes like deviled eggs, salads, and fries.
Paprika is a spice that could have multiple taste effects, depending on the type used. However, the particular brand does not mention what kind of paprika they have used in their mix.
When we examine the homemade recipes, we see that they have included most varieties, including smoked and sweet paprika. In fact, this spice offers a depth of flavor with hot, sweet, or smoky notes.
It essentially pairs well with black pepper, red pepper, celery salt, and many other spices/herbs used in this blend. Thus, when combined with other flavorings, paprika complements anything that calls for old bay seasoning.
If you are interested in trying your own homemade batch of old bay seasoning, we have shared a simple step-by-step guide/recipe in this article.
03- Black Pepper
Black pepper is among the most versatile spices in old bay seasoning. Apparently, it is a spice that goes along with multiple spices and with many dishes.
It has woody, earthy, piney, and peppery flavor hints that significantly compliments the flavor of celery salt. Accordingly, black pepper collectively enhances the flavor of many recipes, including fish, crab, shrimp, meat, and rubs made for grilling or roasting.
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04- Red Pepper
Once again, the brand leaves us with a doubt since it does not say what type of red pepper they use (and there are a lot of varieties!). However, many copycat recipes use cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. So we can assume that the original recipe might be using a type of hot red pepper.
Generally, when types like cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes are being used, they add a hot, fiery kick to the blend with a profundity of flavor. In addition, red peppers are also excellent colorant spices that will provide a dynamic hue.
Most red peppers back up the flavors of ingredients like black pepper, paprika, celery salt, allspice, cloves, etc. And, together, they simply get along with anything that calls for our topic leader.
What Are The Other Ingredients In The Old Bay Seasoning?
The original recipe of this seasoning blend says nothing about the rest of the ingredients other than the spices we have mentioned above. However, as we stated previously, some homemade recipes may contain ground spices like:
- White pepper
- Ground mustard
- Bay leaves
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My Friends, Only Old Bay Knows What Old Bay Has!
This wonderful seasoning mix is indeed a real winner of hearts comprising many zesty and divine ingredients. However, as we said, we only know about four components out of the 18 elements used in this blend’s original recipe, which includes celery salt, black pepper, paprika, and red pepper.