Old Bay: How a spice blend grew from humble beginnings to a cult favorite

Published 2022-08-11
Old Bay has been a pantry staple for more than eight decades – found in everything from Goldfish and ice cream, to beer and vodka. But what most don't know is the incredible story of how Old Bay came to be. Major Garrett reports on how the family behind the beloved spice combinations created it.

#oldbayseasoning #food #news

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All Comments (21)
  • Delphine Ingabire
    My mind can smell the Old Bay from this video. Years ago I used to live in Baltimore and when my son went to college there, I would ask him to bring me that spice. To make the story short, the last time he came home with Old Bay was in the summer of 2014. The following spring he passed away.He would have been 28 on August 19.
  • Gracie
    Mr. Gustav Brunn Baltimorean’s can’t thank you enough for creating Old Bay Seasoning. Yep, chicken necks tied on string to get the Chesapeake blue crab was a summertime favorite pastime! Going to Hale’s getting a dozen or two of steamed crabs & bringing them home to pound on the picnic table. I can remember getting ready to steam a batch & one got loose. The dog thought he had a new buddy to play with. Everyone was yelling, the dog started barking, complete chaos in the kitchen until the crab was caught and no it didn’t pinch the dog. Lots of laughter! During the beginning of the pandemic I went to do an online order & none was available. I am living in the south now, so this was probably not a priority for the grocery store. It took a few weeks to become available. You can not steam shrimp without Old Bay. It spices up macaroni salad & has endless uses. I grew up in Towson MD, not far from McCormicks maker of Old Bay in Timonium MD. There were days the air was filled with whatever spice they were manufacturing. Mr. Brunn for 97 young years you are looking Fabulous!
  • Krejcci Marchand
    what a gem of a old man. would love to sit down and listen to him talk for hours with a few beers.
  • In 1986 I opened a food business in Alabama, most of those folks never heard of Old Bay…..none of the supermarkets down carried it either, I was going thru so much I contacted the Baltimore Spice company to ship me cases of it…..I was selling one to two cases a month….one of the local DJs and TV news person started talking about it on the air……I couldn’t pay enough for the free advertising they gave me, and I an forever grateful……
  • Theresa Hornes
    It's a DMV must-have in every spice cabinet. I live in NC now and always keep a container in my pantry.
  • Mikey Domagala
    97 years old?! Doesn’t look or sound like it! Amazing. God bless him 👏🙏
  • Frank MacLeod
    Old Bay is the only seasoning I use. My dad got me hooked at a young age and I still use it a lot.
  • Debby Brew Sherr
    'Such a wonderful story, I had no idea! However, I have a can of Old Bay seasoning I use all the time. I found out about it 25 years ago and keep it handy to this day.
  • Wendy
    How is this man 97? 🤯
  • Richard Brown Jr
    Fried chicken seasoned with Old Bay is absolutely delicious!
  • Lrac Lrac
    Old season is great, hash browns, fries, chicken, seafood, pasta salad, shrimp salad, lobster rolls, man the list goes on
  • Ml Brooks
    He's got the ritual for catching crabs with chicken necks right, but you NEVER boil blue crabs - you steam them in vinegar and Old Bay. Then you dump them on the picnic table covered with newspaper (I don't know what you cover them with now that newspaper is disappearing for the internet), haul out the hammers and the crab picker, eat till your hands are covered with little cuts from the crab shells and the Old Bay/vinegar sting is just right. Plus beer and soda if you don't drink alcohol, the Orioles on the radio on a hot summer night - Baltimore heaven.

    But I'm glad Old Bay is getting around. It's terrific stuff. I live near a McCormick plant, and sometimes the fragrance eases on down here. Reminds me of those hot summer nights, leaving work and passing the local crab house, and ah, the scent and the memories.
  • manderly
    Marylanders represent ! 🦀🦀 omfg the way that guy tried to break the crab.
  • Antar
    Love this and of course the family
  • Brendan Carey
    Heathen, every Marylander worth their weight in Old Bay knows you don’t boil crabs, you gotta steam them!
  • Michael Kurtz
    Had trouble getting Old Bay during the tough pandemic months. When we finally found some the packaging had changed. The new packaging is better but has problems closing at times. Glad to see supply chains are back to normal.
  • Krista Welch
    I make Old Bay Chicken Alfredo. Pan fry boneless chicken thighs in butter, sea salt, Old Bay, and fresh pepper. Use the pan grease as the roux for the alfredo, adding cream and parmesan. Al dente fettuccine mixed in the pan, and served hot with crusty bread and salad with a good Italian dressing. Fire.
  • Andrew Ward
    (I used to live in Baltimore in the '80s) I now live in Washington State and we've got a local restaurant that uses OLD BAY on their seafood and fries, way out here.. (Glorious)
  • Mmm. Old Bay Goldfish. Haven't seen 'em, I'll get me some if I do. And I'm right here in Maryland too.
    P.S. It is not a real crabcake unless it's a Maryland crab cake made with Old Bay seasoning. I had something that dared to call itself a "Maryland" crab cake at a NYC restaurant once, they should have been ashamed, and it was awful.