McCormick Spice Factory Tour

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend a tour of McCormick Spice Factory, so after an hour of guessing true and false statements relating to the time value of money, I met up with the other FitBloggin attendees.

FitBloggin, a conference for anyone who blogs about health, fitness, food or wellness, took place this past weekend in Baltimore. I initially planned to attend the conference, but I ultimately chose to only tour the factory.

Because I drove straight to the McCormick headquarters and didn’t meet the group at the Hyatt, I arrived a few minutes before the tour officially began. I was able to meet several of the employees and learn about their different positions at McCormick.

Once the entire group arrived, we were directed to the dining room and were offered lunch. After all of the high-tech camera lenses came out (I’m more of a point-and-shoot-one-picture-only-and-that’s-good-enough kind of person…), the guests enjoyed a lunch of roasted chicken, squash ribbon salad, couscous with tart cherries and apricots, sesame balsamic asparagus, and tumeric roasted cauliflower.

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While eating, we were introduced to some of the faces behind McCormick, including two of their chefs and Dr. Hamed Faridi, the Chief Science Officer. We split into two groups after a brief presentation; I started the afternoon by learning about the process in which our lunch was made.

Chef Mark Garcia and Dr. Wendy Bazilian explained the best way to cook vegetables to create not only tasty meals, but ones with the most health benefits as well.

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Afterwards, we went to the kitchen where another chef prepared one of McCormick’s entrees. As soon as I saw that there was fish involved, I stood in the far back corner of the room and stayed far away—I couldn’t risk breaking out into hives or passing out. Not that that’s unusual for me, though.

We then moved on to another kitchen to learn about the seasoning that was used in our roasted citrus chicken. Annette, a dietician who was assisting with the demonstration, also happens to be a mother that I babysit for, so it was funny when we realized that we were both at the same event. (I actually was supposed to be babysitting that afternoon, but passed the job along to my sister!)

The best part of the afternoon came when it was time for dessert.

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Seeing as I was at a facility that specializes in taste-testing products, I found it fitting to “taste-test” all three desserts.

The remainder of the day was spent doing sensory exercises and trying different apple sauces with varying degrees of cinnamon. I had fun meeting new people and getting a look inside of the McCormick factory! Thank you to everyone who made it possible!

If you could tour one factory, what factory would you choose? I would love to tour the Natty Boh factory!

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