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Fan of Spatini Speaks Out

September 14th, 2010 · 5 Comments

By Garland Pollard

This week, we were alerted to the Spatini brand, a dry seasoning mix to help make spaghetti sauce. Apparently, its only sold to restaurants, though there is a website devoted to the brand, which apparently is owned by McCormick.

Writes our BrandlandUSA reader Erica of Blackwood, N.J.

I understand it was only sold in the Northeast. Jarred sauce like Ragu is much easier, but Spatini had a unique flavor so I kept looking for the boxes in supermarkets for years.

It seems to have a real cult following.

We couldn’t find out any more history;  we would love it if anyone could help us find out more info on the brand, and how it came to be. Find out more at http://www.spatini.info/

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Tags: Grocery

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Clarke Jones // Sep 17, 2010 at 4:00 am

    My wife who is an Italian from Philly says no self-respecting Italian uses Spatini and that you can always tell when it is used in a restaurant because there an “off” taste.

  • 2 Donald Haupt // Dec 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    The original makers of Spatini, Harry Seidman and Russel Lakoff, lived across the street and next door to me in Overbrook Hills, PA (near Philadelphia) when I was growing up. They also made Creme-O marshmallow whip. Harry, I believe, was the main ‘chef.’
    Of course, as mentioned above, it was convenient and good, but did not taste like ‘real Italian,’ being made, as it was, by two Jewish guys.

  • 3 Jack Ruttle // Jan 20, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Spatini spaghetti sauce mix was developed by Harry Seidman and Russell G. Lakoff from Overbrook Hills, a suburb of Philadelphia, Pa., as described above. They registered the name Spatini Co. in Pa. on Sept 4, 1952 ( filing ID # 2471165) . Early packaging of Spatini “spaghetti sauce mix” has the Spatini Company based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632 (no mention of Unilever or Lipton). The packaging had a packet of three envelopes priced at less than a dollar.

    At some point the original Spatini Co. was sold. This was perhaps first to Lipton (a subsidiary of Unilever since 1938) which in the 1950’s had branched out from their tea business into a line of well-known dried soups . I’ve seen a 1979 magazine with an ad for Spatini “another great taste from Lipton”.

    1979 was also the year Lipton-Unilever bought Lawry’s, the California seasoned salts company started in 1938 by the well known Los Angeles restaurant of the same name. The Lawry’s company already had a line of spaghetti sauce mix, which they advertised as their original and “a favorite since 1953.” So Unilever probably left Spatini under the Lipton banner for a while, as they added the Lawry’s spaghetti mix to their home-sized packet line. Presumably this is because Spatini was well established on the East Coast, while Lawry’s was better known on the West, so it was an advantage to have two regional lines.

    Just when Unilever discontinued the home-sized packet, I don’t know — maybe around 2000? In 2000 they purchased Knorr, a German company first known for bouillon products. And when they moved Spatini out of the home-market and began selling it only in large packets suitable for restaurants and other institutions, they at first attached the Knorr’s name to it. Later they moved Spatini in the large packets to the Lawry’s product family (as Lawry’s Spatini), while continuing to also offer Lawry’s Original in both home-sized and institutional packaging. In 2008 the entire line of Lawry’s seasoning products, including “Lawry’s Spatini” was purchased by the McCormick Co.

    It should be no surprise that the recipe would have changed through all the years and changes in ownership. The current Spatini ingredient list is quite different from the original. This is from the label on the pre-Lipton box I saw: Sugar, salt, dehydrated onion, potato starch, spices and herbs, artificial color ( beet and carrot powder), egg white powder, whey, monosodium glutamate (flavor enhancer), natural flavor, vegetable gum. Quite a bit different from the list on the packages of later versions. Now it may be that despite the differences, the currently available Spatini from McCormick TASTES very much like or even the same as the old original Spatini, but that is something I am not the best judge of.

    McCormick’s now offers consumer sized packets of spaghetti sauce mix in 4 different names/ styles:
    McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti, McCormick Italian Style Spaghetti, Lawry’s Original Style Spaghetti and Lawry’s Extra Rich & Thick Spaghetti. It would not surprise me to learn that the two Lawry’s flavors and the two McCormick’s flavors are mirrors of each other, with Lawry’s brand offered only in the west and McCormick brand only in the east. With those 4 available I doubt that McCormick has much reason to bring back the consumer size Spatini.

    In the institutional size McCormick now offers both Spatini ( without Lawry’s name) and also Lawry’s Spaghetti Sauce Mix ( presumably the Original). Again these may be marketed in separate regions. This current version of Spatini tastes a lot like the consumer pack of McCormick Thick & Zesty Spaghetti — not identical but similar. I haven’t been able to compare it to any of their 3 other brands of consumer Spaghetti sauce mix or their Lawry’s Original in the institutional size.

  • 4 Boris Merman // Feb 4, 2015 at 11:10 am

    The flavor of SPATINI powdered seasoning is very unique, savory, tangy and distinct. It can be added to any jarred sauce, tomato paste or puree and renders a taste that is very spicy and delicious ! It cannot be replicated at home and no envelope of spaghetti seasoning mix available comes close. Sadly, years back the Lawry’s Corp. cancelled its sale retail. It once came in a box of (3) envelopes that were (4) ozs.each. They still make it, but for wholesale use only. Restaurants and gourmet chefs purchase it in bulk and often use it as their “secret” ingredient in many recipes. You can, however, purchase it on-line at reasonable prices. The best deal I found is from the “SPICE PLACE” and they sell a 15 ozs. envelope for just $ 7.19 plus S & H. I purchase (4) at a time and a little goes a long way ! It is not just for pasta sauces either. Very versatile, I add it to meatloaf, dips, salad dressings, sauces, eggs, meatballs, marinated eggplants,potatoes, etc.

  • 5 Amy James // Apr 16, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    How much of the spatini ingredient was in each envelope? Mr. Merman says each had 4ozs. I have a spatini recipe book that has a photo of the box that shows the net at of 2 1/2 oz.Please help!!

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