is a food and spice
company. It was started in the New Orleans
suburb of Gretna
by Emile A. Zatarain, Sr.
, who took out a trademark
and began to market root beer
. He expanded his product range to include mustard
vegetables, and extracts.
Then he moved into the spice business and become known for New Orleans
-style products. In 1963
the family sold the business. The company was acquired in 2003
by McCormick & Company
, the world's largest spice company.
Major product lines
While the company offers a wide variety of Cajun and Creole
related food items, they can generally be organized in five categories:
- Crab and Shrimp Boils. These are an important item in preparing boiled seafood and in hosting the social event know as a Seafood boil. It is a mesh bag (formerly cheesecloth) containing spices, including mustard seed, coriander seeds, allspice, bay leaf, and pepper. Recipes often explicitly call for a number of "crab boil packets." In Louisiana, these packets are often supplemented with extra cayenne pepper. In other parts of the country—for example, South Carolina—recipes may call for a combination of Zatarain's packets and Old Bay Seasoning. The company also offers a liquid concentrate Crab Boil that can be used in lieu of the mesh packets and is also used directly to enhance soups, e.g. Corn and Crawfish Bisque.
- Creole Mustard. Zatarain's is a leading supplier of creole mustard which is a common item in New Orleans food. It is a stone-ground brown mustard, often referred to as "hot mustard" to differentiate it from standard American yellow mustard. It is a common option for New Orleans Po-boys. It is also a standard ingredient in remoulade sauce.
- Fish-Fri. Basically seasoned corn flour.
- Ready-to-Serve Dinners. These are a major focus of Zatarain's advertising, including Jambalaya, Red Beans and Rice, and Black Beans and Rice. They contain precooked beans, rice, and seasonings, to which consumers may optionally add meat. The dinners are available in two forms: frozen, for heating in a microwave oven; or in a package, to which water is added before cooking on a stovetop or in a microwave oven.
- Seasonings. A catch all category covering both tradition seasoning like cayenne pepper and root-beer extract and relatively new mixes and blends to reflect the kinds of pre-blended seasonings made popular by Paul Prudhomme and Emeril Lagasse.