Rating: ©©©© chips (lip-smacking)
When we first started discussing the idea of Old Bay Seasoned potato chips, we were very surprised by the number of people who A) grew up using Old Bay as their go to seasoning for, well, pretty much everything, even replacing table salt in some cases, and B) people who, as far as they were aware, had never tasted it before in their lives.
According to Wikipedia knowledge (so, you can take it how you like), we found it very entertaining:
“Old Bay Seasoning is named after the Old Bay Line, a passenger ship line that plied the waters of the Chesapeake Bay from Baltimore to Norfolk, Virginia, in the early 1900s. Gustav Brunn’s company became the Old Bay Company in 1939, the year he fled Nazi Germany, producing crab seasonings in the unique yellow can container until the company was purchased by McCormick & Co in 1990. McCormick continues to offer Old Bay in the classic yellow can. Ironically, according to Gustav Brunn, he had worked for McCormick for a week before starting his own spice business. He claimed that he was fired when McCormick learned that he was Jewish.
“While the exact recipe, or list of ingredients, for the Old Bay Seasoning is obviously a trademark secret, many agree on at least the following being included: mustard, paprika, celery salt, bay leaf, black pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, mace, cloves, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, and ginger. (That’s a lot of flavor!!)
“It is regionally popular, specifically in Southern States and parts of the Gulf Coast. Due to the strong presence of the United States Navy in Maryland and Virginia, it is a common fixture in galleys on board Navy ships. It is chiefly used to season crab and shrimp. In addition to flavoring seafood, the seasoning is often used as a topping on popcorn, salads, eggs, fried chicken, french fries, tater tots, corn on the cob, boiled peanuts and potato chips. Several movie theaters in the Chesapeake region offer it in the condiment section. Potato chip manufacturer Utz created the original “Crab Chip” based on an analogue spice mix. The popular potato chip variety was later copied and marketed by Herr’s.” (Old_Bay_Seasoning)
You hear that?!? Quite the history, and Herr’s wasn’t even the first to use Old Bay Seasoning on potato chips, but our guess is that they probably did it best!
Each full, extra large potato chip was covered with LOADS, we mean LOADS, of a rather dark, and pungent seasoning. For any of you out there (like some of us here) who are not familiar with Old Bay Seasoning, the best way we can thing of to describe it, would be ‘iconic & SAVORY’. The seasoning blend is powerful, with a very strong celery salt presence – love it! The chips are certainly not for the faint of taste, they will give your taste buds a workout! Other than the initial blast of celery salt, we couldn’t really pinpoint too many of the other flavors; we pretty sure we also noticed paprika, and a little bit of heat from some red pepper flake, but the remainder all blended together.
Herr’s Old Bay Seasoned Potato Chips are very respectable chips, even verging on greatness. However, we respect and admire their authenticity, and execution, more than we actually loved eating them! The seasoning is just a bit much for potato chips.
As always, these are our thoughts, we would love to hear what you think. Agree or disagree, let us know.
Chips provided to Chip Review by Herr’s Foods for review
Chip Ratings Scale:
© – return to sender
©© – tolerable
©©© – notable
©©©© – lip-smacking
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