BREAKING: Not All Black People Use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, a The Root Exclusive

Illustration for article titled BREAKING: Not All Black People Use Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, a iThe Root/i Exclusive
Photo: David Tonelson (Shutterstock)

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I spent some time this weekend doing meal prep to make eating during the week a bit easier for me, a busy news editor who is so exhausted by the end of the day it takes all my energy and effort to place my order on Postmates so I can eat dinner.

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I’m proud of my meal prep, by the way. I made delicious breakfast salads, a delicious dinner salad and my own homemade Chipotle burrito bowl (complete with the stingy $2 scoop of guacamole on top to add authenticity to it).

A yummy breakfast salad with egg, turkey bacon, spring mix, avocado and goat cheese
A yummy breakfast salad with egg, turkey bacon, spring mix, avocado and goat cheese
Photo: Monique Judge
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Dinner salad with chopped chicken, cucumber, pear, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette
Dinner salad with chopped chicken, cucumber, pear, goat cheese and raspberry vinaigrette
Photo: Monique Judge
A homemade Chipotle burrito bowl
A homemade Chipotle burrito bowl
Photo: Monique Judge

This morning, however, I wanted none of that. I was craving crinkle-cut fries with Lawry’s sprinkled on top and a load of ketchup. So that’s what I had.

I like to sprinkle the seasoned salt on the fries while they are cooking, so it cooks into their….skin, as it were. They come out perfectly seasoned and delicious, and bitch, this is why I’m fat. But we’ll talk more about that on an upcoming episode of Auntie Unfiltered.

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Anyway, I noticed that the contents of my seasoned salt bottle were low, so I made a mental note to add it to my shopping list. Then it occurred to me that I have had the same bottle of Lawry’s for over a year now. Thinking something might be wrong with me, I brought this up to The Root’s managing editor, Genetta Adams, in our private Slack.

“How often do you replace your seasoned salt?” I asked.

“I don’t use seasoned salt,” she replied. “I use a variety of spices to achieve the desired effect.”

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I was incredulous. Don’t all Black people have Lawry’s in their cabinet?

“Wow,” I said. “Are you sure you’re Black?”

(It was a joke. It’s kind of a running joke between the two of us when one of us expresses something that isn’t like what everyone else thinks.)

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“The only seasoned salt I have is the Adobo and I really only use it when I’m making Mexican food,” she continued. “Yes, bish, and my season game is strong. I don’t need Lawry’s to tell me what to taste.”

“Do you need to see my spice rack?” she asked, adding extra spice to the conversation.

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I said yes, and she provided a video in which she educated me on her herbs and spice game.

I was still in shock, though, so I took my query to Twitter.

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The replies told it all. There are so many Black people who are against the use of Lawry’s that I suddenly felt like a minority.

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You know how in the movies a person will do something, and then the film will slow down and close in on them and then show the faces of everyone around them laughing? That’s what that shit felt like, except I wasn’t humiliated. I was still fucking SHOCKED.

So I said, let me ask the rest of the staff in Slack.

I went to our general channel and did that annoying ass @here that everyone loves so much (and by love, I mean hate. Stop abusing that shit, people. Slack users know what I mean).

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“How many people here use Lawry’s when cooking?” I asked.

Senior Editor Stephen A. Crockett Jr. was the first to respond.

“Everyone,” he said, and The Glow Up’s Managing Editor Maiysha Kai, The Root entertainment writer Tonja Stidhum, staff writer Joe Jurado, and senior writer Michael Harriot all agreed.

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“This is such a trick question, guys,” Stephen added.

Shanelle Genai, our newest entertainment writer, asked “Does creole seasoning count?”

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“Yes,” Stephen answered. “It’s just creole Lawry’s.”

Editor-in-chief Danielle Belton admitted that she owns Lawry’s but did not grow up on it, and therefore, does not know what to use it for, while Maiysha owned that she sometimes uses Lawry’s and Tony Chachere’s simultaneously. Danielle said she uses Old Bay, as did a lot of people on Twitter.

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“It’s like having baking soda in my fridge or hot sauce in the crib; I have to have some Lawry’s in my house somewhere,” Tonja quipped.

“If I think about it, I actually have like four different brands of seasoning salts in varying hues/spice levels, depending on the dish. I’on like everything to taste the same,” Maiysha said.

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“Does Trader Joe’s blends count,” Danielle asked. “I have a bunch of those for when I’m lazy.”

Michael Harriot admitted to having a “stockpile” of Lawry’s because he is afraid to run out of it.

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As for the people on Twitter, they gave lots of different reasons for not using it, but chief among them was the prevalence of high blood pressure in the Black community and the fact that Lawry’s has high salt and sugar content.

Still, today I learned that not all Black people use Lawry’s.

I feel as though I have grown from this.

What about you? What do you use in your kitchen?

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.

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DISCUSSION

ofaycanyouseeme
ofaycanyouseeme

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It’s in my thumbnail, baby

I use Old Bay, Lawry’s, Lawry’s Reduced Sodium (it’s got MPG), Lawry’s Lemon Pepper, and a bunch of others. The South African Smoke from TJs is legit if you can get it. We discontinue it a lot.

But I stan til death for MSG. It got a bad rep in the US bc *certain* (alabaster)*people* associated getting sick from Chinese food, even tho it was probably just spoiled food that made them sick. Now people hate on it with Doritos and Cheetos crumbs on their mouth, both of which contain MSG. I don’t use MSG for everything, but my favorite is in homemade Chex Mix, and in the Italian dressing I dip my sandwiches in. Also, it’s good in taco meat.