New Tabasco museum opens in Lousiana

Tabasco chicken burgers

With the proliferation of hot pepper sauces that crowd supermarket shelves, it's easy to forget that once upon a time there was only one hot sauce in the US: Tabasco. The vinegar-based pepper sauce was introduced in the 1860s by prosperous Louisiana banker and avid gardener Edmund McIlhenny. In February, Tabasco unveiled a brand new museum, visitor center, and restaurant on Avery Island, home of Tabasco since its inception.

Avery Island used to be off limits to outsiders, but now hot sauce fans can take a factory tour, where they can observe a sauce-making process that has changed little since McIlhenny invented his concoction over 100 years ago. The center also offers visitors the chance to see McIlhenny family artifacts and videos. Angie Schaubert, senior manager of brand sales at McIlhenny Company, said the goals of the museum were "to show visitors and Tabasco fans how McIlhenny Company and its surrounding region in Southern Louisiana are intertwined, how Tabasco Sauce has impacted the culinary culture throughout history, and give visitors an up-close look into the production process from seed to bottle in celebration of nearly 150 years on Avery Island." 

The restaurant, named 1868 after the founding year of the company, offers many dishes that, unsurprisingly, contain Tabasco.  The menu includes authentic regional Louisiana favorites like crawfish etouffee, red beans and rice, crawfish corn maque choux, and boudin, plus highlights how people can use Tabasco in their everyday cooking. You can also draw inspiration from the EYB Library, which features over 1,200 recipes using Tabasco.

Photo of Tabasco chicken burgers from indexed blog What's Gaby Cooking

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