The History And Success Behind Tabasco Sauce

By Stephen M

You’ve been enjoying Tabasco Sauce for years now, but has it ever crossed your mind to check the origin of this hot pepper sauce. As you sit to enjoy the sensation of this hot pepper sauce, let’s take you through the history behind it.

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Genesis of the Tabasco Hot Sauce

As the name suggests, Tabasco sauce is is a product from the Tabasco pepper, which originates from Tabasco in Mexico. Edmund McIlhenny started producing the sauce in 1868 from the Capsicum frutescens pepper seeds he had planted. He had received these seeds from Colonel Maunsell White, and knowing its therapeutic properties, decided to grow them.

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Mcllhenny, who was a banker, saw the potential in making hot pepper sauce from his pepper. With consistent trials, he perfected the recipe between 1866 and 1868 and decided to go commercial. The first batch was 658 bottles in 1868 and sold each for a dollar. The rest is history as the company currently sells about 50 million bottles annually.

Preparding Tabasco Sauce

The Tabasco pepper originally has a Scoville Heat Units (SHU) of between 30,000 and 50,000. However, the heat is tamed down during the production process to about 2,500 and 3000 SHU with the addition of distilled vinegar.

To produce the hot sauce, farmers first handpicked the peppers, which is a company tradition. They ground them into mash the same day, after which they add salt. Afterward, the mash is poured into white oak barrels and moved to warehouses on Avery Island, where it ages for three years. After the aging period, they add vinegar and left for an extra one month for maturing. The end product is what you see bottled and sold on the various malls and shops’ shelves. Note that each product contains just 20 percent of Tabasco pepper. Several other brands of hot pepper sauce are on the market now to compete with Tabasco.