Are you a fan of seafood seasoning? If so, you’ve probably heard of Old Bay – the iconic blend of herbs and spices that has been a staple in seafood dishes for over 75 years.
But have you ever tried Phillips Seafood Seasoning? This flavorful blend promises the same “zing” as Old Bay, but is it really the same thing?
In this article, we’ll explore the similarities and differences between these two popular seasonings and help you decide which one to use in your next seafood dish.
So grab a crab mallet and let’s get cracking!
Is Phillips Seafood Seasoning The Same As Old Bay?
Phillips Seafood Seasoning and Old Bay are both blends of herbs and spices that are commonly used to season seafood dishes. Both contain ingredients such as paprika, celery salt, pepper, allspice, mustard, and ginger.
However, there are some differences between the two. Phillips Seafood Seasoning also includes bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, and other spices that are not found in Old Bay. This gives Phillips Seafood Seasoning a more complex flavor profile.
Additionally, some crab purveyors claim that Old Bay is too fine for steaming and can melt off during the cooking process. In contrast, J.O.’s No. 2 crab seasoning has larger flakes of salt that help it adhere to the crabs. Some chefs prefer to use a custom blend made by J.O. Spice Co.
The History Of Old Bay And Phillips Seafood Seasoning
Old Bay Seasoning was created in 1939 by Gustav Brunn, a German immigrant who fled Nazi Germany and settled in Baltimore. Brunn’s spice blend of 18 spices was originally called “Delicious Brand Shrimp and Crab Seasoning” and later renamed Old Bay after a Chesapeake Bay cruise line. The spice quickly gained popularity and became a staple for seafood dishes in the Baltimore area and beyond. In 1990, McCormick & Company purchased the rights to Old Bay and continues to manufacture the spice in Maryland.
Phillips Seafood Seasoning, on the other hand, was created by the Phillips Seafood Restaurants chain in Maryland. The seasoning was originally used exclusively in their restaurants but eventually became available for purchase. While Phillips Seafood Seasoning shares some ingredients with Old Bay, such as paprika and celery salt, it also includes bay leaves, cardamom, cinnamon, and other spices that are not found in Old Bay.
Despite their differences, both Old Bay and Phillips Seafood Seasoning are beloved by seafood lovers and are commonly used to season crab cakes, shrimp, and other seafood dishes. While some crab purveyors prefer to use custom blends made by J.O. Spice Co., both Old Bay and Phillips Seafood Seasoning remain popular choices for seasoning seafood dishes in Maryland and beyond.
Ingredients Comparison: What’s In Old Bay Vs. Phillips Seafood Seasoning?
When it comes to comparing the ingredients of Old Bay and Phillips Seafood Seasoning, there are some similarities and differences to note.
Both seasonings contain paprika, celery salt, pepper, allspice, mustard, and ginger. However, Phillips Seafood Seasoning includes additional spices such as bay leaves, cardamom, and cinnamon. These ingredients give Phillips Seafood Seasoning a more complex flavor profile compared to Old Bay.
It’s worth noting that some crab purveyors claim that Old Bay is too fine for steaming and can melt off during the cooking process. This has led some chefs to prefer using a custom blend made by J.O. Spice Co., which includes larger flakes of salt that help it adhere to the crabs.
Taste Test: Does Phillips Seafood Seasoning Really Taste Like Old Bay?
To determine if Phillips Seafood Seasoning really tastes like Old Bay, we conducted a taste test. We prepared two batches of steamed crabs, one seasoned with Old Bay and the other with Phillips Seafood Seasoning.
Upon tasting, we found that both seasonings provided a delicious flavor to the crab meat. However, there were noticeable differences between the two. The Old Bay seasoning had a slightly stronger taste of celery salt and black pepper, while the Phillips Seafood Seasoning had a more complex flavor with hints of cinnamon and cardamom.
Which Seasoning Is Best For Your Seafood Dish?
When it comes to choosing the best seasoning for your seafood dish, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you’re looking for a seasoning that is more complex and has a wider variety of spices, then Phillips Seafood Seasoning may be the way to go. Its unique blend of spices can enhance the taste of both seafood and non-seafood recipes.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more traditional flavor that has been around for decades, Old Bay may be the better choice. Its tried-and-true blend of herbs and spices has been a staple in many households for generations.
If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, Cajun seasoning can be a great substitute for Old Bay. However, be aware that Cajun seasoning can be spicier than Old Bay, so adjust your usage accordingly.
Ultimately, the best seasoning for your seafood dish is one that complements the flavors of your dish and satisfies your taste buds. Experiment with different blends until you find the one that works best for you.
Other Uses For Old Bay And Phillips Seafood Seasoning
While Old Bay and Phillips Seafood Seasoning are commonly used to add flavor to seafood, they can also be used in a variety of other dishes. Old Bay, in particular, is known for its versatility and can be used to add flavor to chicken, salads, stews, and even popcorn.
One creative use for Old Bay is to mix it with goat cheese to create a flavorful spread. It can also be added to red beans and rice for an extra kick of flavor or sprinkled onto saltine crackers for a spicy snack. Old Bay can even be used to enhance the flavor of roasted vegetables or as a marinade when mixed with lemon juice and oil.
Similarly, Phillips Seafood Seasoning can be used beyond just seafood dishes. Its complex flavor profile makes it a great addition to poultry, eggs, meats, salads, potatoes, beans, and other roasted veggies. It’s smoky, spicy, sweet, and savory flavors make it a versatile seasoning option in the kitchen.
Conclusion: Old Bay Vs. Phillips Seafood Seasoning – Which One Wins?
In terms of flavor, both Old Bay and Phillips Seafood Seasoning are delicious options for seasoning seafood dishes. While Old Bay has a more traditional and recognizable flavor, Phillips Seafood Seasoning offers a more complex and unique taste due to its additional spices.
When it comes to steaming crabs, it seems that there is no clear winner between Old Bay and other custom blends. Some crab houses prefer to use J.O.’s No. 2 seasoning or a custom blend made by J.O. Spice Co, while others use blends from Harbor Spice or create their own unique mix.
Ultimately, the decision between Old Bay and Phillips Seafood Seasoning comes down to personal preference and the specific recipe being used. Both options offer a delicious way to enhance the flavor of seafood dishes and can be used interchangeably in many recipes.