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Monkey Dust, a.k.a. Everglades Seasoning

I was shocked to see how little comment there is on Chowhound re Everglades Seasoning. I finally bought some from their website and made sirloin kabob with it last night. This stuff is AWESOME. The flavor is half of the equation as it contains something called Pepain (from some particular Papaya) which tenderizes meat. It was SPECTACULAR kabob and the meat was nothing special really. I gave the cubed meat about 1 hr with some of the "monkey dust" and it was soooooo good. Everyone commented on it. Two of whom were Iranian and very picky about their kabob. South Floridians (which I am not) need to stop with the secrecy and spread the word. This stuff is truly amazing.

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  1. The jar I bought is just not thrilling me.
    Is it better as a meat tenderizer? I want more bang out of a seasoning- this stuff is...mild. I must be using it wrong. I didn't marinate, I subbed it instead of regular s&p.
    I'll try again- I got a massive bottle @ Sams for like $3.

    1 Reply
    1. the papaya extract is Papain, not pepain...it's an enzyme that denatures protein, hence, the tenderizing properties. and since two of the first three ingredients are salt & MSG, it would probably enhance the flavor of pretty much anything. it's not much different than other common seasoning blends & seasoned salts such as Spike and Accent. i'm sure the kabobs were fantastic, but i'd be more impressed if there was a seasoning blend that could achieve such results without all the sodium & MSG ;)

      1. it doesn't thrill me either. overwhelming flavor is dried thyme, way too much, tastes like dried mildew to me (not that I've eaten dried mildew, mind you, but that's what too much dried thyme brings to mind when I have it).

        1. Alkapal told me about this stuff a long time ago, and gave me a website where I could get a sample. So I have a small packet, maybe 1 or 2 teaspoons of seasoning, sitting right here on my desk and haven't tried it yet. So if I use it as a rub, so to say, and let it sit for an hour, that is the way to do it? I can't remember what she said about it, but I thought it was an alternative to a seasoned salt. Oh, and the ingredients are not listed on the packet, so who knew!

          6 Replies
          1. re: danhole

            danhole, this is the ingredient listing for Monkey Dust on the Everglades website: Salt, spices, monosodium glutamate, dehydrated garlic and onion, sugar, papain.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thanks GHG. I looked at the website and now I am curious - where does the name Monkey Dust come from. Doesn't sound very appealing, does it?

              You did see they have a MSG free version, also.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Ok- it just hit me that Monkey Dust is the flavor of the one Max is in love with!
                That could explain it, I have the regular one...
                Hmm... I still want it to thrill me- haven't gotten my $3 wortha ya-ya's yet.

                1. re: Boccone Dolce

                  Monkey Dust is the nickname for their original all-purpose seasoning blend, so it's the one you have.

                  1. re: Boccone Dolce

                    $3 for a big container sounds too cheap -- even for sam's! maybe they've adjusted their prices.....? but a "bottle" -- i thought it only came in a cardboard canister/shaker or a big plastic 6 pound jar, like i have (got it as a gift years ago).

                    i see now it's sold in plastic spice jars. see how long it's been since i bought it? ;-)).

                2. re: danhole

                  hey dani -- yes, put in on like any rub. no need for salt and pepper. an hour in advance is just fine. don't be stingy with application.

                3. max, my dear, i've mentioned everglades seasoning a few times!

                  i use it as my default "go-to" seasoning for meat (pork and beef) and poultry (chicken, turkey, cornish game hens, duck).

                  it's also great on pork ribs, especially.

                  and try it on *good* summer tomatoes with cottage cheese -- or sauteed yellow summer squash with onions -- or squash casserole.

                  good to use in homemade sausage.

                  good on skillet-fried potatoes, steak and onion hash, served with some hot sauce or ketchup.

                  good in collards or field peas.

                  my dad loved it on our weekly grilled new york strip steaks.

                  also try it on fried eggs (cooked in bacon drippings, of course) and buttery grits! mmmm, grits and eggs with monkey dust "are" good! ;-)).

                  at the great swamp cabbage festival in labelle every february, they grill the steak with a liberal dose of monkey dust, and that -- with the oak smoke fire -- makes it quintessential florida. that, plus the deliciously savory swamp cabbage dish. oh, and the indian fry bread. good "old florida" stuff. this photo is a flavor of the old-time labelle: http://www.panoramio.com/photo/4725826

                  as a south floridian (fort myers), i have been eating monkey dust for over 40 years, when it was still just "monkey dust" from labelle, and before it was "everglades seasoning." my dad would go hunting in the everglades, and often went through labelle for various trips, heading over to clewiston and belle glade, then down to the 'glades to find deer and wild hogs (and a rattlesnake or two).... (on one of those hunting trips, i learned to drive at age 11 in a stick-shift willys jeep in the everglades...and learned to shoot a rifle)(down in everglades city, there was also an infamous "rod & gun club" where politicos and (if i recall) "unseemly" folks would mingle, if ya get my drift. now it's a fine, upstanding place, apparently! look at the "history" section to get a little flavor for old florida. http://www.evergladesrodandgun.com/ barron collier developed most of south florida, and the county where naples is located is named after him http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barron_C... ). okay, walk down memory lane ended. <holodeck off>

                  i'll bet hemingway ate monkey dust! (he'd go fishing out of port charlotte, with my brother-in-law's dad).

                  1. I use Everglades Seasoning all the time. It's SUPPOSED to be mild. Not every Cajun/Creole seasoning has be be hot enough to rip your face off.

                    The one we get in the stores here in Florida does not have the same container as the ones shown on their website; so I'm supposing it's their All Purpose. The also offer a Hot version on the website, a well as other products.

                    As a Personal Chef I find Everglades Seasoning flavorful enough to introduce sissy-mouthed New York and Canadian snowbirds into tasting real flavor-filled food. If you tell me you like it hot, I use Tony Cachere's hotter seasoning blend.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: KiltedCook

                      I have a few of the Chachere's spice blends, but have to say they all seem to contain too much salt for my likes. I like the cartoony labels though.

                      1. re: MaxCaviar

                        I'll have to try the small sample I got, soon. I also have Chachere's in my spice cabinet but like you Max, I think they are too salty. I came up with a spice blend on my own that is fairly low in salt and has a cajun flavor to it, spicy but not hot.

                        Now I know where the term Monkey Dust comes from! I guess you have to be a Florida native to know those things! Thanks Alkapal.

                        1. re: MaxCaviar

                          I know this is a very old thread -- but it was "bumped." For others just coming across it, I thought I'd mention that we've discovered a salt-free "Tony's" that we like a lot more. I always found the original too salty -- by the time I had the seasoning I liked, it was def. too salty for me. But with the salt-free, I can season to taste and add any necessary salt separately.


                        2. re: KiltedCook

                          kilted cook, monkey dust is not ''cajun/creole" seasoning.

                          and dani, i don't know why in the world it's called "monkey dust."

                          1. re: alkapal

                            I think I picked it up because YOU mentioned it... I was @ Sams again today and saw it, I was wrong it's $3.96 - it's a round plastic 16 oz bottle. Def not cajun!

                            I found Tony Chachere's stuff when we first moved here and it's good, I'm always open to new discoveries. We kinda only want that cajun/whatever flavoring once in a while... not as an all-purpose daily seasoning. I have 3 bottles of it in my pantry- I should give them away, I've had 'em for 5 years!

                            1. re: Boccone Dolce

                              so...you don't like e.s. on a roast chicken, a country style pork rib, or on a new york strip? ;-(.

                              (mmmm....roast chicken skin with that monkey dust!).

                        3. Help! I am to be serving a dish with this tonight. The seasoning makes the dish. Just realized I don't have enough for the 11 people. has anyone mixed their own who can tell me what they used? I live in Maryland and they apparently don't sell it here. Please help!!!!!! I will share my recipe later, when I am out of panic mode.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: nosey

                            i'd say, use some poultry seasoning plus garlic powder. you'll be fine.

                            1. re: alkapal

                              Thanks, Alkapal I think I had just enough to fake the recipe. I will be ordering some today. here is my "recipe". My apologies on the amounts, i just wing it.

                              10 butterflied and pounded chicken breast.
                              1 family size bag of baby spinach blanched
                              1 log of goat cheese
                              a handful of roasted red peepers, diced
                              1 small can of sliced mushrooms
                              Everglades seasoning
                              4 plum tomatoes

                              Mix goat cheese, spinach, red peppers, mushrooms and Everglades seasoning and spread onto chicken breasts. Roll, tuck, and whatever else it takes to keep stuffing in the breast and place on greased baking dish. Put a couple of slices of tomato in top of each breast and sprinkle with more Everglades seasoning. bake until the tomato starts to wilt. I think it was about 45 minutes at 350.

                              I served with the Tomatoey Rice pilaf from Molly Stevens, All About Braising. I did use the braising liquid from the Polpettone Braised in Tomato Sauce recipe. ( A good excuse for making the Polpettone). Oven roasted asparagus with olive oil, garlic and jane's Krazy Mixed-up Salt.

                              1. re: nosey

                                nosey, that is not only delicious-sounding, but i'll bet it is very pretty, too. thanks for the recipe!

                                my sister got me the biggest container -- 6 lbs. -- of the everglades seasoning. it lasts forever! http://shop.evergladesseasoning.com/p...