There are a few things I know about black bass: they’re easy to cook, a blast to catch, and when they’re paired with J.O. Spice seasoning, a Maryland seafood staple I was first introduced to by my mother-in-law, Barbara Wiley, who was born and raised in Maryland, they are incredibly delicious!

J.O. Spice Company was established in 1945 in Baltimore City, Md. by J.O. (James Ozzle) Strigle as a way to market the blends handed down to him when he was growing up on a small island in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, where everyone’s livelihood depended on seafood.

Back in 1945, J.O. Spice Company started with J.O. No.1. It came in a little can that was taken to nearby wholesale fish and seafood markets to sell to the market’s customers and watermen to enhance the flavor of all those blue crab they were catching, which were so abundant they were just considered the spiders of the sea at that time. J.O. wanted a way to showcase how delicious those blue crab were, and his incredible spice mix was the perfect way to do it. Over the years they’ve expanded their flavor profile, now offering J.O. No.2 (my personal favorite), J.O. Garlic Crab Spice, Homestyle Shrimp, Crawfish & Seafood Boil, Blackened Steak Seasoning, Maryland Style Crab Soup Mix, and so much more.

Sadly, J.O. passed away in 1974, but J.O. Spice Company still remains family owned and operated after 76 years in business and has always made their customers their number one priority. J.O. used to say, “If we don’t look out for our customers, someone else will,” and although the majority of J.O. Spice Company’s customers may be on the East Coast, their mission statement of “give the customer what they want, when they want it” still holds true to us here on the West Coast as well. And their seafood blends might have originally been formulated for those blue crab, but they are perfectly delicious on our Dungeness crab as well as on all of the abundant seafood we have available here on the Oregon coast.

J.O. Spice Company has always put the quality of their products, their customers and their hard working employees before their profit margin, so this seasoning isn’t available in stores here on the West Coast. But it can be easily ordered at www.jospices.com or by calling 410-247-5205 or 1-800-537-5714.

Traeger Grilled Black Bass w/ J.O. Brown Butter

Ingredients:

1 whole black bass/ 2 filets

1 stick salted butter

1.5 tablespoons J.O. Crab Seasoning #2

Directions:

Preheat Traeger to 325 degrees

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, cooking the butter until it begins to foam and brown specks float up through the foam.

Remove from heat and add J.O. Seasoning.

Brush Brown J.O. Butter over top and bottom of fish.

Place nonstick paper or foil on Traeger to prevent fish from sticking to the grill.

Grill fish for approximately 7 minutes or until internal temp reaches around 130 degrees.

Remove from the grill and enjoy!

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