Tabasco sauce

Tabasco sauce . Sauce used as a condiment. With a spicy flavor, it is prepared with red tabasco chili, vinegar, water and salt that are macerated in oak barrels. Although its name seems to come from Mexican Tabasco , it is an American product made by the McIlhenny Company, which produces all the sauce for the world at its headquarters in Avery Island, in the Iberia parish in the southern state of Louisiana , in the United States .


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  • 1 Story
  • 2 varieties
  • 3 Culinary use
  • 4 Some chronological facts
  • 5 External links
  • 6 Sources


Tabasco sauce was invented in 1868 by Edmund McIlhenny, a former Maryland banker who had moved to Louisiana around 1840 . Initially, McIlhenny used cologne bottles to distribute his sauce to family and friends, but when he began selling it to the public in 1868 he ordered the purchase of new “cologne bottles” from a New Orleans stained glass window , retaining its shape in the bottles used today.

The company founded by McIlhenny has remained the property of his descendants from his death in 1890 to the present, with Paul McIlhenny as its current CEO, the company’s fourth.

History says that Edmund, after returning to his estates and plantation after the Civil War in the United States ( 1861 – 1865 ), simply did not know what to do. But there was a salt mine, and some chili peppers that were called Tabasco still grew because they had brought them from Mexico. He decided then to preserve the harvest for better times, since the banker was a gourmet. They put layers of chili peppers and salt in oak barrels, after 2 years he was able to taste the new sauce, which was somewhat spicy. This method worked and is still working.

There are other hot sauces and still other manufacturers, other chili peppers and other formulas, but the empire founded by Edmund McIlhenny, transferred to his descendants, are the only ones that can use the Tabasco brand even if they do not reside in Mexico . In addition, it can be considered that the family has made two other indirect contributions to the world related to salsa. They first achieved a scientific classification for the chili they use. Second, they succeeded in inventing a test to measure the “itchiness” of the spiciness and creating a new unit for this variable: the Scoville.


Almost at the end of the 20th century they began to market new flavors of Tabasco sauce, keeping the original as it was.

The 5 varieties of the McIlhenny Sauces.

  • Tabasco Garlic: it is a sauce with the addition of garlic. And one of the first flavors is that of Tabasco Habanero, much spicier to compete with this sauce that has been produced in Mexico for more than 80 years .
  • Tabasco Green Pepper (green pepper): it is a much milder sauce, being this, perhaps the mildest of all.
  • Tabasco Chipotle: Created in the 19th century , this variety of chili is smoked and dried before doing the standard aging procedure.

Despite the fact that Tabasco Sauce is sold in some 165 countries, some of these flavors are not available in all of them. The common ones are precisely the Tabasco Sauce and the Tabasco Green Pepper.

Culinary use

It is a spicy to be used directly by drops, given the type of bottle since its inception. In Cuba since time immemorial it has become the custom to make the spicy “homemade”. For this spicy there is no unique formulation or recipe and each one follows their own.

Normally you take several peppers, vinegar, salt, some garlic and perhaps even a piece of onion and a few drops of oil. Sometimes they boil and sometimes they don’t. They leave it covered for a few weeks at room temperature, since vinegar decreases its effectiveness in the cold. When it is ready, it is used for a tamale, a few minutes of fish, or for fried foods.

However, since not all countries can have their hot pepper bush in the patio, Tabasco Sauce appears as an ingredient in many recipes of any cookbook. And as said, he also entered the Bar as part of cocktails like Bloody Mary .

Bloody Mary cocktail is not the same without Tabasco drops.

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