What are Maryland steamed blue crabs seasoned with?

Good question.

Despite being a lifelong Marylander, I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t learn the true answer until later in life.

If you ever sat in a Maryland crab house and enjoyed steamed blue crabs coated in delicious seasoning, then you may think you know the answer. But, do you?

If you’re from outside Maryland you probably answered “Old Bay”, and I’m sorry to be the one to tell you, you’re probably wrong.

Most tourists from other parts of the country believe Old Bay is the seasoning of choice for Marylanders, mostly due to clever marketing, but the locals know better.

In the kitchens of the real crab houses in Maryland, delicious steamed blue crabs are seasoned with J.O. SPICE #2.

You may have never heard of the J.O. Spice Company before, and that’s because they are one of the best-kept secrets on the Chesapeake Bay.

J.O. Spice Company was established in 1945 by J.O. (James Ozzle) Strigle and his wife Dot and has been serving the Chesapeake Bay area for over 75 years.

To appease tourists, some restaurants may place a tin of Old Bay on the table, for show. But don’t be confused. The yummy spice you are licking off your fingers is most-likely J.O. Spice, made by the company that supplies most of the crab restaurants on the Chesapeake Bay.

Now for the fun part.

J.O. Spice gave me a shoutout on Facebook!

I sent a copy of Shadow Claw to Ginger at J.O. Spice Company and she responded! I’m so blown away with gratitude that such an established company and a pillar of the industry would reach out to a tiny little beginning author.

She also sent me those cool photos. The funny thing is, the color palette of my book cover makes it look like Shadow Claw was forged out of J.O. Spice itself. Haha!

I hope you enjoyed this little story, along with the background info. If you’re interested in reading (or listening to) Shadow Claw, it is now available on Kindle, paperback, hardcover and audiobook!

Find it on Amazon here: https://www.amzn.com/dp/B089SB…

Until next time, I’ll be out on the water.