Spike William is our new kitten and he was born January 30th, 2013.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Friday Afternoon (4/27) Tabasco Time!

Well, it's been a while but now I'm back to our Louisiana trip.
After the Swamp Tour we went to lunch and had Meat Pies.
The original place our Aunt wanted to take us was closed,
but she found American Meat Pies.
Their slogan is "Gourmet cuisine at fast food prices"
and they really were good.
The menu listed 13 different meat pies - six of them were already prepared.
I had a Ragin' Cajun Meat Pie and boy was it tasty!
It was flaky pastry filled with a spicy ground beef filling.
I wish I had one right now!

After lunch we headed over to Avery Island
to visit the Tabasco Pepper Sauce Factory and the Jungle Gardens.
We found out that the Tabasco products which are made by McIlhenny Company was founded in 1868 and it is still family owned and operated. It seems that Edmund McIlhenny created the Tabasco brand Pepper Sauce sometime in the mid-to-late 1860's. He was a food lover and a gardener and when he received some pepper seeds that had come from either Mexico or Central America, he planted them on Avery Island. He wanted to create a pepper sauce to liven up his food. He started by crushing some of the reddest of the peppers. Then he mixed them with the Avery Island salt and he aged this mixture for 30 days in crockery jars and barrels. After the 30 days he blended the mash with French white vinegar and aged it for at least another 30 days. When he then strained it, he transferred the sauce into small cologne-type bottles with sprinkler fitments, which he then corked and sealed in green wax. The sprinkler fitment was necessary because the pepper sauce was highly concentrated and it was better to sprinkle it instead of pouring it.
McIlhenny's sauce was so popular with his friends and family he decided to start a new business venture by marketing his sauce. His first commercial crop was grown in 1868. The next year, he had 658 bottles of sauce. He marketed them at one dollar a piece and sent them out to wholesalers around the Gulf Coast, particularly in New Orleans. McIlhenny decided to name his sauce "Tabasco" which is from Mexican Indian origin and means "place where the soil is humid" or "place of the coral or oyster shell." The Tabasco brand was patented in 1870 and by the late 1870's McIlhenny's sauce was being sold throughout the United States and all the way over to England.
139 years, the sauce is still made pretty much the same way, but it is aged longer now for up to three years in white oak barrels. The current president of the company, Paul McIlhenny, is the sixth in a chain of direct descendants. Approximately half of the company's 200 employees live on the Island and many of the parents and grandparents had also worked for the company.
We had a great time at the Tabasco Factory. After the tour we headed over to the Country Store where you can buy anything Tabasco and we were able to taste a lot of their products. My favorite one was a Chile Pepper Ice Cream.
I wish they had it at home!

China II and Willow II snuck into quite a few of the pictures
if you look closely!
A later post will be about the birds of Avery Islands
and one alligator that came way too close to me!
All of the Tabasco information is from our tour and tabasco.com

No comments: