Saturday, June 21, 2008

Could Y'all Pass Me the Monkey Dust ?

Over the years, my friends have always heard me refer to seasoning my cooking with "Monkey Dust". Their eyes would get big, they'd swallow hard and ask me what the hell Monkey Dust was.
Did they think I kept 2 monkeys in the cabinet and rubbed them together over the pot to generate monkey dust? Or perhaps my smoking monkey taps his ashes into the sauce between stirrings?
Well, the term has a history, but I never went into it with them. I just tell them its a seasoning blend I had started using while living in the Glades and they simmer down real quick like. (Must be because I speak with an air of authority)

Yesterday, my friend Kat, who is spending the summer in her New York City pied `a terre, called and left a message on my cell phone. "What exactly is in Monkey Dust"? was the question. Hmmm..I really need to tell the story once and for all....and send her some cuz she won't find it up there in Yankee Land. I don't think anything with the word "Everglades" can be sold north of the Mason -Dixon line....It's IN the rule book...

Everglades Seasoning® "Food Seasoning" (a.k.a. Monkey Dust)
When Mess Sergeant Bill Gerstman arrived in Saipan in 1944, he encountered a situation which most thought had no hope. Gerstman found the soldiers of the 714th Rescue Mission so disgusted with eating only mutton and goat that they were dumping their rations into the sea.

Gerstman was raised on a small farm in Alabama and was taught that anything could be made to taste good if seasoned properly. In keeping with that philosophy, Gerstman began experimenting with various herbs and spices. The result was a secret recipe that not only satisfied the soldiers' appetites, but the delicious taste had them coming back for more. Soon the troops were using Gerstman's seasoning on mutton meatballs, eggs, vegetables, potatoes, and any other ration which required seasoning.
After completion of his military duties, Gerstman returned home to the states and resumed his trade as meat cutter/butcher at the LaBelle Trading Post in LaBelle, Florida. With spices and seasonings easier to obtain, he perfected his secret recipe, calling it Monkey Dust, to the delight of many customers who patronized the small general store.

In 1976, the secret formula was finally perfected, the famous logo was patented and EVERGLADES SEASONING was born. Gerstman seasoned local meats for years until, in 1985, he sold the recipe to Gene and Martha Cross, owners of the LaBelle Trading Post. For the next seven years, Gene and Martha Cross began distributing Everglades Seasoning in southwest Florida on a limited bases. During this period, sales grew steadily as word of mouth advertising was creating more demand for the secret recipe.

Later on when I moved away from the Glades area, I started using Badia Complete Seasoning, but continued to refer to it as Monkey Dust..because its easier...

Now...this morning I discovered a new favorite seasoning:
Cooter Rub !!!!!!!!
Can you imagine what fun I can have with this little phrase? and it starts tonight with the grilled fish....mmmmmmm

1 comment:

oshiyay said...

I want a thumb monkey!