I find that you get better quality spice blend when I make them at home or in the camp kitchen. Plus, it's much easier to avoid MSG, anti-caking agents and excessive salt content when you make your own.
I just recently re-discovered Old Bay Seasoning. According to Wikipedia, the commercial spice blend was first developed by German immigrant Gustav Brunn in the 1940s as a crab seasoning in the Baltimore area.
Since I rarely purchase fresh crabs, I like to use Old Bay as an all-around seasoning. I typically use it on broiled chicken. It's also good in salmon or crab cakes, tater sauce and cocktail sauce.
Then today, I saw a recipe for an Old Bay reproduction on the Kayotic Cooking blog. This authentic Dutch cook and artful photographer produces some wonderful recipes on her blog from her home in Gouda, Netherlands. (My favorite recipe: Dutch split pea soup, a recipe that I've made for about 10 years.)
Here's what she has to say about Old Bay:
A couple of years ago a friend sent me a big can of ‘Old Bay Seasoning’. I instantly became hooked! It’s been a staple in my home ever since. Since this spice mix can’t be bought in the Netherlands (is it a typically American item?), I’m doing my Dutch (and European?) buddies a favor by giving the ingredients for a faux old bay seasoning!Please let me know if you try her recipe. I have 6-ounce can in my cupboard, but will have to try Dutch Girl's recipe when my supply runs out.
My other two purchased spice blends? Chili powder (typically Gephardts) and Pappy's Choice Seasoning, a regional blend produced in Fresno, California. I buy 32-ounce containers of the blend from my butcher. Pappy's is a versitle barbeque and grilling seasoning.