We took a tour of the Tabasco factory in Avery Island, Louisiana where more than 700,000 bottles of the world-famous hot sauce are made every day. Founded in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny, the brand is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year.McIlhenny Executive Vice President Harold Osborn, a fifth-generation member of the McIlhenny Family about the entire process behind how Tabasco sauce makes it to the kitchens and dining tables of nearly 200 countries around the world.$200 million of Tabasco sauce is sold every year Edmund McIlhenny founded the company in 1868. This is McIlhenny’s great-great-grandson.

Harold Osborn: We’re celebrating our 150th birthday this year. Tabasco starts here in the fields and it’s a five-year process from the beginning to the end. The peppers that are being made here right now are growing here, will be Tabasco sauce on your table in five years.The pepper seeds are made on Avery Island. Then they’re shipped to farms in Latin America. The farmers wait for the peppers to ripen. Then they’re ground up and combined with salt. This “mash” goes back to Avery Island. It then ages in these barrels for three years. Each barrel yields around 10,000 bottles of Tabasco sauce.Three years later … It’s time to make some sauce!

The mash is mixed with vinegar for three weeks. Then, the mix is strained to remove seeds and skin. Here comes the sauce! Time to bottle it up! The design is based on a 19th-century cologne bottle.Nade sent Today at 13:54The bottles are filled, capped, and labeled. Then they’re boxed up and prepped for shipping. Tabasco sauce is shipped to 195 countries. The factory produces around 700,000 bottles per day. This is only one week’s worth of inventory.

If it’s good enough for Her Majesty, it’s good enough for anyone. Tabasco seems to be Queen Elizabeth II’s hot sauce of choice—in 2009, McIlhenny Company was given an official warrant of appointment designating it an official supplier to the British royal household. It’s also served aboard Air Force One.The Original Red ranges from about 2500 to 5000 units on the Scoville scale, which measures the apparent heat of a substance. The habanero sauce throws hotter peppers into the mix, while the remaining varieties—chipotle, garlic, jalapeño, “sweet and spicy”—are all varying levels of mild

There’s Tabasco-flavored everything. You name it, the McIlhenny Company has probably found a way to work their signature condiment into it: popcorn, steak sauce, mayo, mustard, pickles, Spam, Slim Jims, chili, chocolate, and more. At the Tabasco Country Store on Avery Island, there’s even Tabasco-flavored ice cream. Beyond that, it’s probably best to draw the line.


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