Sunday, August 12, 2012


“Old Bay and Natty Boh and News”  2011
oil paint on board (16” x 20”)
As a collector of McCormick and other brands of spice tins, from time to time I like to compare the old to the new. The 1950 container of  Old Bay Seafood Seasoning (included in the painting above) features a crab, a shrimp and a lobster on the cardboard package topped by a golden tin lid. Baltimore Spice Company is given credit as the manufacturer since McCormick did not yet have the label. At some point the Old Bay label changed from “Seafood Seasoning” to “Seasoning for Seafood, Poultry, Salads and Meats." Look for yourself, it’s there on your pantry shelf now with a red plastic lid. National Bohemian beer bottles have changed, too. I have a few of the early rocket style bottles (one included here in the painting).  Mister Boh has evolved from a vague, one-eyed, yet fully mustachioed, character to a much bolder graphic version of himself. Even though our hometown beer, brewed on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, moved out of state several years ago, the loyal following remains in Baltimore. In fact the Boh-mania among young people seems stronger than ever.  We just love our steamed crabs and beer !


  1. Hmmm makes me wonder what else do people season with Old Bay? I remember when Karl and I first went to visit our friends in Switzerland, Michele and Adrian, we went to dinner at the home of another couple who had attended Michele and Adrian's wedding in Baltimore. We had a marvelous rooftop dinner overlooking Lake Lucerne. And what did the host serve? Grilled pork chops seasoned with....Old Bay. It was the last thing I expected to eat in Switzerland. But it was delicious. I think it was the first time I had had Old Bay on something other than seafood. So....what do other people put Old Bay on? Inquiring minds want to know...

  2. What a great story, Julie. Old Bay around the world!