When the phone rings, Dan usually can’t answer it.
He’s in the Spice Lab.
It’s not a Laboratory in the usual sense.
You won’t find suspended glass beakers full of bubbling liquids, a spaghetti of plastic hoses, racks of test tubes or machines with blinking lights with fancy oscillating monitor screens.
This is NOT Dan…
What you WILL find instead, is a man, dressed in a white lab coat and Asmus baseball cap standing amidst a sea of seasonings armed with a clip board, scales, mixers and the most important tool in the lab.
This is Dan’s world.
This, is Dan.
In the Asmus Seasonings Spice Lab.
Whether the mission is a new seasoning blend for chicken wings, a signature flour for a fish batter, a beef brisket rub for an old client or a pizza sauce seasoning for a new pizza franchise, Dan Lowry, President of Asmus Seasonings, is literally as “hands on” as you can get.
Where the magic starts.
“The process typically begins with either a conversation with our client about their needs, or a sample they bring to me of a product that they would like to make something similar to”, Dan said.
“If the project does begin as a conversation, I ask a ton of questions to get a very clear idea of what the intended use is, what flavor profile they are looking for and the volume of product they expect to use, let’s say, within a month or two”.
“On the other hand, if they bring me a sample that they want to make something similar to, if it has an ingredient statement on the container, that’s a good beginning, even though I don’t yet have an idea of the ratios of one herb or spice to one another”.
“Probably the most challenging scenario is when I’m handed a sample with no clear idea of what’s in it. That’s when the fun begins!” Dan exclaimed with huge smile.
Dan’s analysis of an unknown seasoning blend begins with something as simple as tasting it.
“I can probably pick up most of “usual suspects” within a taste or two” Dan noted.
From there, Dan takes the sample to the Lab where he puts it under the microscope to examine all of the particulates.
“Occasionally, I’ll find some traces of seasonings under the microscope that would be difficult to pick up from just tasting alone. Especially if the sample has a degree of capsicum (heat) that tend to mask more subtle herbs or spices in the blend. They’re there, and they’re important, so I always do a thorough examination”. Dan admitted.
Everything ingredient is scale weighted as it is formulated and then carefully recorded on Dan’s clip board as he works.
“You can’t trust volume measurements. It’s neither accurate, nor an industry standard” Dan concluded.
Back at Dan’s office desk, you’ll see the results of many of Dan’s efforts, all in sealed plastic bags, shakers or in small boxes ready for upcoming meetings at Asmus Seasonings or, ready to be shipped to awaiting customers for their approval.
“I love everything about this industry but creating new products for our customers is probably the most fun”, Dan says. “It’s so rewarding to know that a blend we create is not only satisfying our customer, but, in turn, their customer. We win twice!”.
If you’re interested in expanding your line of seasoning blends for any product on your menu. Contact Asmus Seasonings today.
Dan might not always be able to answer the phone but he’ll be sure to touch base with you as soon as he takes off his lab coat.