In Search of Orange Gold

This limited blog series delves into Maryland's iconic spice mix known as Old Bay.  It has been referred to as Maryland's "magical fairy dust," because of its ability to add flavor to just about anything and everything.  In the Search of Orange Gold is an expedition into the history of the spice mix, looking at what came before it, how Old Bay came about, and what holds for its future.  The posts will also focus on the ingredients used to make the spice mix, as well as how it can be used in different dishes. 

The series will conclude with my own attempt to recreate the Old Bay spice mixture.  While many have tried this feat in the past, I hope to be able to provide a different perspective based upon all of the research and thought that will have gone into this.

The blog posts that will comprise this series are the following:

Part One, Introduction: An introduction to Old Bay and its popularity among Marylanders.  This post also outlines the series going forward.

Part Two, What Came Before: This post explores the history of using spices in connection with the preparation of blue crabs in the Chesapeake region generally, and in what would become the State of Maryland. 

Part Three, Gustav Brunn: This post follows the life of Old Bay's creator, Gustav Brunn from Buchenwald to Baltimore, Maryland, as well as his efforts that led to the spice mix itself. 

Part Four, The Whole is the Sum of the Ingredients: This post explores the composition of Old Bay, looking at the eighteen spices that Brunn is said to have used to create the mix. The post will look at each of the spices, focusing on what it contributes to the overall flavor of Old Bay. 

Part Five, To the Kitchen: This post details my efforts to recreate Old Bay, taking the lessens of what came before the spice mix, the work of Gustav Brunn, and what we know about Old Bay's development over the years and decades. 


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