Poultry Seasoning: A Blend Made For Turkey

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Poultry seasoning is a herb and spice blend that most Americans know for its association with Thanksgiving turkey. The most likely source of this seasoning mix is Boston area entrepreneur William G. Bell. Bell developed seasoning blends for pork and sausage but his main claim to fame is the poultry seasoning blend that bears his name.

Bell came up with Bell’s Poultry Seasoning in 1867, four years after President Abraham Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving was to be a national holiday that Americans should celebrate yearly. The seasoning is still being made today.

The longevity of the Bell’s Seasoning brand is likely due to his keen insight into the market and his readiness to take advantage of the new holiday. Today, Bell’s Seasoning continues to be widely used among people from the Northeastern part of the United States and is available for purchase online. There are many different versions of poultry seasoning but food historians believe Bell’s to be the first.

Poultry seasoning flavor profile

Poultry seasoning includes oregano, sage, and rosemary along with various other ingredients, but its flavor profile is dominated by sage. Sage’s flavor is often described as being piney and somewhat bitter with a hint of citrus. Other herbs like rosemary and oregano tend to play into those notes giving the blend an intensely savory and woody flavor. 

Health benefits of poultry seasoning

Each herb and spice in poultry seasoning brings its own set of nutritional benefits. Even though you will only be consuming relatively small amounts of the nutrients in each serving, it may still be possible to get some health benefits from poultry seasoning. 

  • Vitamins: Sage is rich in vitamins K and B6; oregano contains even more vitamin K than sage while rosemary is rich in B6 and folate. Black pepper is a good source of vitamin A and an exceptional source of vitamin K. 
  • Minerals: Sage, rosemary, and oregano all contain good amounts of calcium and iron. You will get a good amount of calcium from black peppercorns as well as a concentrated dose of manganese. 
  • Fiber: Most of the ingredients in poultry seasoning contain significant amounts of fiber. 

By adding poultry seasoning to your food, you may be able to treat certain health conditions and prevent others. Those conditions include:

  • Osteoporosis: Because it contains so many ingredients that are rich in calcium, poultry seasoning may be helpful for improving bone density thus preventing the brittle bones that are symptomatic of osteoporosis. 
  • Inflammation: Because so many of the ingredients in poultry seasoning contain antioxidant compounds in their essential oils, it may be beneficial for preventing illnesses that result from inflammation. 
  • Constipation: The fiber from poultry seasoning can help food to pass through your digestive system. 

Common uses

While most people know poultry seasoning as a turkey seasoning, the blend is much more versatile than that. You can use it on other types of poultry like chicken and duck; it is great for seasoning stuffings.

There is no reason to limit poultry seasoning to poultry. Use the blend to season other proteins; poultry seasoning makes a great foundation for a dry rub that you can use on ribs and other cuts of pork that you intend to smoke. It pairs well soups and vegetables.

While it does have the word poultry in the name, poultry seasoning is perfectly fine for vegans to consume since it does not contain any animal products.