Still Spicy At 75


This year, Old Bay, Baltimore’s iconic hometown spice, celebrates its 75th anniversary.

According to local lore, Old Bay was founded by Gustav Brunn, a German Jewish refugee who fled Nazi Germany after Kristallnacht in 1938. Brunn and his family settled in Baltimore, where he started the Baltimore Spice Company a year later. The unique taste of Old Bay quickly became a mainstay in Baltimore cuisine. The company was sold to Hanson Industries in 1986 and again to McCormick & Co. in 1990.

To celebrate the popular spice’s diamond anniversary, McCormick will present summer events such as Old Bay Day at Power Plant Live, an Old Bay advertising campaign and Old Bay commemorative products including a 75th anniversary Old Bay can, Old Bay seasoned fries, Old Bay Beer and an Old Bay interactive mural that fans can help design. The spice company will also open an Old Baytique at the Inner Harbor, where fans can purchase Old Bay paraphernalia. Brunn’s actual spice grinder is on display at the Jewish Museum of Maryland, part of the museum’s Voices of Lombard exhibition. For more information, visit

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