Just because you're not eating seafood, doesn't mean you should stop using Old Bay!
Marylanders love their Old Bay seasoning, especially during the summertime. But for many, eating seafood every day just isn't an option. So, they drone through life just itching for their next Old Bay fix. But it doesn't have to be limited to just seafood. It can be used on surf and
turf as well. We've traveled around Maryland and collected the five BEST outside the box uses of the seasoning!
Old Bay Chicken Wings
This was an easy one. Old Bay chicken wings are amazing and they are easy to make regardless of where you live. Just fry or cook your wings naked and when they're cooked to perfection, toss them in a bowl of the seasoning. It really is that simple. If you're dying for some of the delicious seasoning but don't want to drop serious cash on crabs or shrimp, then these wings will really hit the spot. I prefer to have them with bleu cheese dressing, but they are just as good with ranch. The wings pictured above came from Crab Alley in Ocean City, Maryland. On my most recent trip to OC, I went to Crab Alley three times with my family. Yes, we started out ordering crabs by the bushel, but as the trip wore down and we started getting a little sick of seafood (GASP!), the wings really
hit the spot.
Old Bay Chips
Now, this is another easy choice. It's not summer in Maryland without chips, specifically Herr's Old Bay chips
. There are other chip companies that sell "Crab Flavored Chips" and some are branded with J.O. No. 2 Crab Seasoning, but there is nothing like the original. There isn't really anything extraordinary about them. They're just chips that are fried in cottonseed oil and then tossed in the seasoning for taste. But when you're looking for that kick in between meals, Old Bay chips deliver every single time, without fail.
Old Bay Fries
This is another obvious one. In many places they're known as "crab fries." If you don't like seafood (sacrilege) but still crave Old Bay, this is a serious contender when eating out. Some restaurants like to serve the fries with a cheese dipping sauce. Others go with ranch or ketchup. Honestly, there's usually enough flavor there to not even need a condiment. The best part is that you can make this a menu-item wherever you see Old Bay on the menu or table. Either ask the waitress to have the kitchen toss your fries in the seasoning or simply apply it yourself table-side. That way, no matter what entree you order, you can still have it on your plate!
Old Bay Bloody Mary
Now, this is a new one for me. I've seen Bloody Mary shots before that had Old Bay on the rim. They're delicious and they make complete sense. After a night of binging on steamed crab, sometimes you just need a little hair of the dog. But I hadn't ever seen a packaged Bloody Mary mix with the seasoning in it before. Well, that is because it has never been done before! This year, George's Mixes announced their partnership with McCormick to release the first-ever Old Bay Bloody Mary mix. While there may be other "crab flavored" mixes on the market, this is the first to officially include Old Bay seasoning. George's Mixes is still a small company based out of Berlin, but they expect their Bloody Mary Mix to be sold and served in more than 3,000 stores and restaurants in Maryland this year alone. So if it's too early to dig into a plate of seafood, this mix might be just the thing to hold you over until lunch!
Old Bay... Beer?
This is one I was a little leery about. I love Old Bay... and I love beer, but could I possibly like the two at the same time? The answer is yes. Flying Dog's Dead Rise beer combines the unmistakable taste of Old Bay seasoning with the crisp citrus taste you come to expect from a summer seasonal. Originally brewed in honor of Old Bay's 75th Anniversary, the beer is now a staple in Flying Dog's summer sampler packs. I don't know if I could drink a whole case of it -- especially since it is listed as being 5.8 percent alcohol -- but it is definitely a nice novelty to have alongside a plate of crabs, shrimp, or any other type of seafood. Proceeds from beer's sales go to True Blue, a program that promotes Maryland crabbers by letting the public know which restaurants serve authentic Maryland crab and which fly their product in from other parts of the country or even world.
Honorable Mention: Old Bay Cheese Curls/Balls
This one was a lot more difficult. Walking through Walmart in Ocean City, I walked past a display of tubs of cheese balls. But upon closer inspection, I noticed that they were Old Bay flavored. As if I was in a trance, I found myself subconsciously putting them into the cart. If it's Old Bay flavored, it's coming home. They're not healthy for you and they definitely aren't as good as the chips, but they are a decent stand in. If there's a run on the Old Bay and the only thing left is the cheese curls/balls, they will serve their purpose. What about you? Other than seafood, what do you like to put the seasoning on? Let us know in the comments below!