Recipe Testing

One of the things that I like to “Do” is to try new recipes whenever I get the chance. I had the opportunity some time ago to sign up for the McCormick company’s Home Use Test group (sign up here to get on their database of home testers). In the past I have baked dessert products at home, then filled in an online survey and received some sort of compensation.

This go-round I tested a dinner/meal recipe. The funny thing about writing this post is the fact that I can’t actually say anything about what I made, other than that I made it, it was good, and I’d make it again. I received a padded envelope with some ingredients + a recipe. I had to use mostly my own stuff, but the recipe didn’t call for anything that wasn’t already in my kitchen.

If you live in the Maryland area, you can volunteer to test McCormick products at their testing lab. You can learn more about this process here. I would love to do this, but, alas, I life halfway across the country.

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I have fond memories of McCormick’s factory in Baltimore, MD, near where I grew up. The story goes that in 1896, Mr. McCormick bought some equipment from a company in Philadelphia and had it sent to Baltimore to set up shop. His company motto was (and I’m not joking) “Make the best – someone will buy it”. Everything was lost in the Great Baltimore fire of 1904, and a new  building was erected on the same site and the company forged ahead. Another building was later erected at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in the 1920s.

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This is the building that I remember from my childhood. That part of town always smelled absolutely wonderful. They added their Hunt Valley, MD facilities in the 60s. Some buildings have been built and sold in the meantime, but this is where the Testing Lab is located. Other buildings were added over the years. Eventually all of the operations moved to the Hunt Valley location and the famous McCormick spice smell could no longer be experienced in Baltimore. The building has been bought/sold/forclosed on, etc over the years. Who knows what will happen to it. As of right now, a company that is actually solvent owns the building.

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Apparently they have opened up their first-ever retail space in Harborplace, in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. It’s called McCormick World of Flavors. I’ve not been there but will add this to my list of things to see next time I am out that way. This is a perfect excuse to take my boys to the Baltimore Aquarium. And, being the foodie that I am, I imagine myself carrying home a ton of spices once I step food inside this store.

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And did you know that there is a McCormick Science Institute? Here is the MSI Pilot Study on Red Pepper and Turmeric, the MSI Funded Study on Rosemary and Cognitive Function (September, 2011) , and the MSI Funded Paper: Potential Health Benefits of Turmeric (September, 2010).  I had no idea! As a lukewarm health nut, I think I can get into this stuff pretty easily.

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