Why You Shouldn't Put Old Bay In Copycat Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits

While Red Lobster may have fallen on hard times in recent years, there's one thing that fans of the chain have always been able to count on. That's Red Lobster's mouthwatering Cheddar Bay Biscuits, a moist, cheesy side that pairs well with anything on the menu. And thanks to Mashed's copycat Cheddar Bay Biscuit recipe, folks craving one don't even have to head to the restaurant anymore. However, looking closely at the ingredients for the first time reveals one you might be expecting is actually missing: Old Bay seasoning.

While the "bay" in Cheddar Bay Biscuits may lead you to believe Old Bay seasoning is a staple of the dish, those with a trained palate already know the trademark flavors of this bold Mid-Atlantic seasoning (including the distinctive tastes of ground mustard, paprika, celery salt, mace, nutmeg, cardamom, red pepper, and bay leaf) are missing from authentic Cheddar Bay Biscuits. In reality, Cheddar Bay Biscuits get all of their rich flavor from just three ingredients: butter, cheese, and garlic. Garlic is among the most prominent parts of why Red Lobster's Cheddar Bay Biscuits are so good, with garlic powder integrated into the batter along with the garlic-infused butter brushed on top of them while still hot.

The origin of Cheddar Bay

The idea of adding Old Bay seasoning to Cheddar Bay Biscuits is an understandable mistake to make. Old Bay is commonly associated with crab cakes, shrimp, grilled and fried fish, and other seafood dishes like those that fill the Red Lobster menu. Cheddar Bay Biscuits first hit the chain's tables in the early 1990s after they were developed by Red Lobster executive chef Kurt Hankins, who was seeking to make a savory baked good for the menu. The popular current name is the result of a rebranding following an unsuccessful launch where they were first known as "freshly baked, hot cheese garlic bread." Though this might be the most accurate description, it lacked the style of Cheddar Bay, which was meant to sound like the sort of bay where Red Lobster's seafood might be caught, though it's fictional. 

So even if what Red Lobster closures mean to you is much more difficulty enjoying them at the restaurant, remember Mashed's copycat recipe is ready to satisfy that desire. Just keep it simple, and leave the Old Bay in the spice rack.