WAMU 88.5 : The Kojo Nnamdi Show

Old Bay & the Chesapeake's Identity

It's one of the flavors that defines life in the Chesapeake region: Old Bay Seasoning, the blend of herbs and spices that's been made in Maryland for nearly a century. In some ways, Old Bay is enjoying a renaissance; a Maryland brewery even recently released an ale brewed with the seasoning. But the company behind Old Bay itself, McCormick, is contemplating a move out of Maryland. Kojo explores the link between spice and regional identity - and what Old Bay has contributed to the culinary DNA of the Chesapeake region.

Featured Recipe: Steamed Crabs for 8

by Spike Gjerde/Woodberry Kitchen/Baltimore MD

This recipe calls for Old Bay or a housemade spice equivalent; Spike's spice recipe is also below.

Steamed crabs:
4 dozen large blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay
4 bottles of beer + water
Old Bay or your secret recipe to taste

  1. Pour beer into a crab steamer/large pot with insert.
  2. Pour enough water in to fill up to right below insert.
  3. Bring beer and water to a boil.
  4. Layer in feisty (i.e. live) crabs with Old Bay and crab seasoning.
  5. Cover, and once steam builds up, cook for 20 minutes. Dump out on a newspaper covered table.

Spike's crab seasoning:
½ cup sea salt
3 tbsp black pepper corns
2 dried fish peppers
2 tsp mustard seed
2 tbsp dried lovage
Grind everything together in a blender.


An Exuberantly Dark First Novel Explores The Chaos Of Central Africa

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Marion Nestle: "Soda Politics: Taking On Big Soda (And Winning)"

Changing public attitudes have led to a decline in U.S. soda sales. But health expert Marion Nestle believes many people still consume unhealthy amounts of sugary drinks. She argues beverage companies are spending millions on research that misleads consumers.


Sen. Harry Reid Sues Makers Of Exercise Band Over His Injuries

The Senate minority leader and his wife are seeking more than $50,000 in damages over what they say is a defective resistance band that caused him to lose sight in his right eye, among other injuries.

How Skyscraper Construction Ties Into Tech Bubbles

There's a lot of talk in Silicon Valley about a tech bubble.Our Planet Money podcast team examines one possible indicator of a bubble: architecture. Very, very tall architecture.

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