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Jul 6, 2009 03:14 PM

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'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:

                  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. barron collier developed most of south florida, and the county where naples is located is named after him ). 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).