day 106
new iberia, louisiana

"BBQ is your favourite thing in the world, besides me." -a.
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Home of Tabasco:
Where: New Iberia
When: 1868
Who: Edmund McIlhenny
What: Red Peppers, Salt, Vinegar

How: Find out below when we reveal the secrets of Tabasco!

Hottie of the Day
Petit Baton Rouge:
Because of these many variations in colour while a pepper is ripening, the pickers use le petit baton rouge, the small red stick that is painted the exact shade of red that is characteristic of a fully ripened hot pepper!

Should the workers forget their baton rouge, they can always pick up a pack of Cheese & Crackers on the way to the fields. Tasty and accurate!
Types of Tabasco:
1. Traditional Pepper Sauce
2. Green Pepper Sauce
3. Garlic Pepper Sauce
4. Habanero Pepper Sauce
5. Steak Sauce
6. Carribbean Steak Sauce
7. Garlic Basting Sauce
8. Soy Sauce
9. A1 Sauce w/Tabasco

Order these and more tasty products at!
Point to ponder:
How many eye-related injuries are there each year at the Tabasco plant?

Hot Topic
Dec 10 - There are three things a restaurant can to to make me a happy gal. First, the sugar has to be in a dispenser, not in those little packets. Second, put a small pitcher of cream on the table instead of those little cups. And third, it's gotta have tabasco.

To make me an extremely happy gal, it needs a shaker of Tony's. But that's another story.

I don't think I'm alone. I like the option. I might want to spice up my food, or it just might be the right heat, but at least they've given me something besides (yeech) ketchup.

I used to work with a guy who carried a bottle of Tabasco with him everywhere he went, in case the restaurant didn't have any. He was one of those guys who you'd hand a lump of molten lead with habaneros in it, and he'd eat it and say, "It's really not that hot."

Conversation at Spice Market
Aim: What's the best creole spice?
Guy: Try some of this. Louisiana Creole. It's the most like Tony's we got.
Aim: So you're saying Tony's is the best?
Guy: (shrug) It's whatever you like, but if you like Tony's, that Louisiana Creole is pretty good.
Aim: Do you sell Tony's?
Guy: Try the Louisiana Creole. It's pretty much Tony's.
In some cases, that's not such a bad idea. After all, a gentleman we met on Day 6 at the Rusty Bucket always brought his own syrup to the diner for breakfast. The man likes his own syrup, not that watered down Aunt Jemima crap.

I don't see any harm in that. It's not like you're bringing your own silverware. You're just expanding your options.

Kevin loves coming into a restaurant and seeing barbeque sauce on the table. Kev can't pass up barbeque. I think you could dip a bicycle tire in barbeque sauce and Kevin would eat it. So, why not carry around a bottle of barbeque sauce? See? Doesn't that make sense?

But then, he's always got his wallet and keys in one pocket, the cellphone and a couple of disks in the other pocket. I don't carry a purse, so he'd be walking around with BBQ sauce and Tabasco and Tony's everywhere he went. He'd need one of those zipper vests.

I guess the answer is this: restaurants need a public spice rack. Imagine that! Over by the salad bar there's just a big wall of spices. You start eating, and you say, "You know, this could use some saffron." So, you flag the waitress, or you get up yourself, grab the saffron, and spice it just the way you like it. It's so simple!

But then the cooks would be insulted, and the food would ultimately be ruined by the culinarily challenged ("What's a truffle?" "Dunno, I think they's those things in Pot O' Gold").

Best to stick with the basics. Salt, pepper, a jug of cream, a can of sugar, and Tabasco. And barbeque sauce. And Tony's.

Better get a bigger table.

The Tabasco Process: From Pepper to Pleasure
Stage One
When the picking is complete the peppers are carried to the factory where they are mixed with pure Avery Island salt. The freshly ripened peppers are ground with the salt into a mash and stored in 50-gallon white oak barrels.
Stage Two
Once the wooden barrels are full of fresh mash, the covers are tightly secured with stainless steel hoops. Each lid contains a small opening that allows the barrel to vent the gas pressured created by fermentation. The barels are then covered with a protective layer of salt and left to age for the three years.
Stage Three
After aging for 3 years, the pepper mash is ready to be mixed with the third ingredient: strong vinegar. The sauce is then pumped into large oak vats where this mixture of mash and vinegar is stirred for weeks. After this, the sauce is strained of its seeds and pulp and is ready for bottling.

secret bottling facility...

Duplicate this

secret process

in your own

more photos in the archive...

We've got mail...

After graduating from Grade 13, I had a summer a bottling factory in St. Catharines. All kinds of products came in in big vats to be bottled and labelled.......Welsh's Grape Jelly, Lime Juice, etc. Horribly boring job, keeping up with all those marching bottles.

But the very worst line to be on was the Tabasco line. Yes, that's right......all the way from New Iberia, Louisiana to St. Catharines those vats of tabasco would arrive and we would put it in those tiny little bottles. In an effort to reduce the boredom they would make us switch jobs on the line every hour or so. Didn't help much except that after getting fingers full of paper cuts on the label the bottle station, the next job might be at the filling the bottle station.....where the boredom was superceded by the pain of spilling tabasco on the cuts. I think that was how they kept us awake.

So when I see the pictures on Day 106.......I can really say been there, done that! And it was probably the main reason that I decided to go back and get a post secondary school education.

Just thought you'd like to know that little bit of history ..........
- Kev's Mom

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Current Location
(get out your push pins)

New Iberia, LA

Next Stop: Houston, TX

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Today's Weather:

Daily Stats
Gas: $16.05

Tastes: 5
Purchases: None

Sleeping Quarters
Sam Houston Jones S.P.

It's so cool! We're on the edge of the bayou, two steps from the water. Let's hope the gators are hibernating.

Cost: $12.00

Cindy & Carl's
New Orleans
K's Order:Special K Red Berries
A's Order:Frosted Wheat
Dwyers Cafe
Both:Gumbo with Chicken & Rice
Both:Rice with Tony's

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© 2001. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Burn, Baby, Burn. Tabasco Inferno.