Old Bay—the iconic spice mix—kicked off its "Summer of Baytriotism" in Baltimore today at Miss Shirley's Cafe on Pratt Street. From billboards and smart-phone apps to a giant can of Old Bay attached to the side of a parking garage near Miss Shirley's, pictured, Old Bay's summer marketing campaign is sure to hit home with the community that has supported it for 70 years.
During this morning's event, Old Bay promoters defined a "baytriot" as "one who loves Baltimore, and would promote and defend it to the end." They also introduced "baytriot" Marianne Handlir, the winner of a "Voice of Old Bay Radio" competition.
There was food to be sampled, too. As a Florida native, I'm still learning about the city's habits. Handlir began by teaching me how to properly eat a deviled egg (in one bite).
She will also teach "Bawlmarese" to visitors of the Old Bay Facebook page. And her voice will be featured in two radio ads that focus on what makes a "baytriot."
Foodies can also enjoy a "Taste of Baytriotism." From June 22-30, many local restaurants will feature Old Bay menu items and participate in a judged competition to determine the most innovative menu. The participating restaurants will also be giving away Old Bay coasters and stickers to patrons.
Old Bay's recipe has not changed over the years, and the blend is still packaged in the familiar blue-and-yellow can. It is now a product of McCormick and Company, based in Sparks.
—Blog and photos by Joshua Lazarus, Baltimore magazine intern