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Avery Island / Tabasco


Jason Perlow
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It's an interesting place, but since they spiffed up the tour (I'm sure the insurance men told them not to let people just wander around the plant, which is kind of what used to happen) it's not quite as fun. On the other hand, Avery Island is a beautiful part of the country and kind of an anomolie, since it is on a hill (saltdome) and believe me, there aren't too many hills in that part of the world.

It's also cane season here. A really good time to drive around. If you would like to see a cane mill close up, the public mill in the middle of Jeanerette is accesible (like it's so accessible that you can get run over while taking pictures, be careful) and if you go on a Tuesday or Thursday, you can go to Lefeune's Bakery and get some of the best fread that you will ever eat and top that off with warm Ginger Bread!

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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So looks like it might be worth a trip since we are pretty close. 

So does anybody know anything about Cajun Power?

I know they are based in Abbeville (my home town :biggrin: ), but I'm not sure if they do tours there. I seem to remember them haing a store front where they obviously carry all of their products. Call 1-877-U POUR IT

Also in Abbeville is the Steens Syrup Mill. They used to do tours, but you will have to contact them for the schedule. Lots of cane trucks around there as well. (800)725-1654

And Abbeville also has a Riviana rice mill. Not sure about tours through there.

Screw it. It's a Butterball.
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So looks like it might be worth a trip since we are pretty close.  

So does anybody know anything about Cajun Power?

I know they are based in Abbeville (my home town :biggrin: ), but I'm not sure if they do tours there. I seem to remember them haing a store front where they obviously carry all of their products. Call 1-877-U POUR IT

Also in Abbeville is the Steens Syrup Mill. They used to do tours, but you will have to contact them for the schedule. Lots of cane trucks around there as well. (800)725-1654

And Abbeville also has a Riviana rice mill. Not sure about tours through there.

Yep firming up to be quite the food tour :wink: I was planning a abbeville stop anyhow for lunch :laugh: I toured much of the state many many.... years ago. I was in the bullet proof vest business fresh out of high school. It was quite interesting meeting the sherrif in Lake Charles @ the Police supply :laugh: But that would indeed be another story. It was a different time and place back in the mid 70s.

Never trust a skinny chef

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It's also cane season here. A really good time to drive around. If you would like to see a cane mill close up, the public mill in the middle of Jeanerette is accesible (like it's so accessible that you can get run over while taking pictures, be careful) and if you go on a Tuesday or Thursday, you can go to Lefeune's Bakery and get some of the best fread that you will ever eat and top that off with warm Ginger Bread!

Hehe, a perfect example of the difference between living with something and visiting it. I was thinking it would be a BAD time to drive the back roads, because the sugar cane tractors can you slow you down something awful. They are picturesque, I grant you that. Last year I took a ton of pictures parked across the street from the Jeanerette sugar mill.

Irodguy, do you like really good pralines? If you do, I'll call a place in New Iberia tomorrow to see if they're still in business. It's an unlikely place to find the best pralines ever, but they are soooo good. It's a Cab Business/Sweet Shop. How's that for a good combination?

Edited by patti (log)

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Jason & Rachel,

Thanks for posting the pictures and taking the tour.

Someday I hope eGullet can get a real behind-the-scenes look at Avery Island.

I would like to taste the difference between a just-made brew of Tabsaco and the aged 3 years batch just to compare.  And it makes me wonder if they age it longer if it gets any hotter or even ferments.

Brooks, you need to grease some wheels, spread the eGullet gospel to the McIlhenny's.  Now that would be a great Q & A.

Toliver, I think you would find a distinct difference between sauces made from year one and year three aged peppers. The first year I grew my Tabasco peppers I made bottles of vinegar sprinkle type sauce (which I do still every year with some of them) with whole peppers/vinegar/salt/garlic clove. But I saved the rest back to age. I have had three year and four year aged pulp to make the red sauce for a couple years now and although the peps are hot to begin with -- damn! they do get hotter and more flavorful. :shock::wub:

Of course I don't have oak barrels to age them in, but the sauce is still mighty fine. I keep mine cool during aging and they don't actually ferment, but that could be an entirely different thing with the oak barrel aged peppers for McIlhenny.

Judith Love

North of the 30th parallel

One woman very courteously approached me in a grocery store, saying, "Excuse me, but I must ask why you've brought your dog into the store." I told her that Grace is a service dog.... "Excuse me, but you told me that your dog is allowed in the store because she's a service dog. Is she Army or Navy?" Terry Thistlewaite

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Irodguy, do you like really good pralines? If you do, I'll call a place in New Iberia tomorrow to see if they're still in business. It's an unlikely place to find the best pralines ever, but they are soooo good. It's a Cab Business/Sweet Shop. How's that for a good combination?

Yes love a really good praline, of course being a diabetic they don't love me :laugh: But seriously I would love to pick some up for friends here in Dallas.

Never trust a skinny chef

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Let me know when you'll be in the area. I haven't been to this place in a long time, but I called today (Alexander's Cabs) and asked if the Sweet Shop was still in business (didn't find it in the Yellow Pages) and if pralines were still being made. He said it is (specifically, "Yeah, Mama still makes 'em"), but you pretty much have to call ahead so the pralines can be made to order. It's in a really dumpy place, so I hope that doesn't scare you off. Either PM me when your plans or solidified or post something here.

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Yep firming up to be quite the food tour :wink:  I was planning a abbeville stop anyhow for lunch :laugh:  I toured much of the state many many.... years ago.  I was in the bullet proof vest business fresh out of high school.  It was quite interesting meeting the sherrif in Lake Charles @ the Police supply :laugh:  But that would indeed be another story.  It was a different  time and place back in the mid 70s.

Ahh....Ham Reid time...had an interesting job there eh?

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"Ahh....Ham Reid time...had an interesting job there eh?"

If Sheriff Ham Reid and Cajun fiddler Wallace "Cheese" Read had been partners, they would have been Ham and Cheese Reed.

Scorpio

You'll be surprised to find out that Congress is empowered to forcibly sublet your apartment for the summer.

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"Ahh....Ham Reid time...had an interesting job there eh?"

If Sheriff Ham Reid and Cajun fiddler Wallace "Cheese" Read had been partners, they would have been Ham and Cheese Reed.

The Sherrif came to test my bullet proof vest with a 458 revolver. He had loaded with steal tipped munitions. Went through the vest through the sand in the trash can and into the back of the building :laugh: He obviously wanted to stop charging bull elephants if they were loose :raz:

He did tell me to mention his name if anybody tried to ticket me on the way back to Texas. :smile: The entire experience reminded me of something from the movies.

Never trust a skinny chef

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"Ahh....Ham Reid time...had an interesting job there eh?"

If Sheriff Ham Reid and Cajun fiddler Wallace "Cheese" Read had been partners, they would have been Ham and Cheese Reed.

The Sherrif came to test my bullet proof vest with a 458 revolver. He had loaded with steal tipped munitions. Went through the vest through the sand in the trash can and into the back of the building :laugh: He obviously wanted to stop charging bull elephants if they were loose :raz:

He did tell me to mention his name if anybody tried to ticket me on the way back to Texas. :smile: The entire experience reminded me of something from the movies.

I'm glad he didn't ask you to put it on first!! He was a legend in his own mind and briefly in his own time...

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Mark Kurlansky's "Salt: A world history" has a chapter devoted to Avery Island and McIlhenny. I'd never have guessed that the marriage of an investment banker and a salt miner's heiress would have resulted in a hot sauce.

IIRC McIlhenny bought the pepper seeds from a transient. After the Civil War the bottom had dropped out of the salt market, and they needed to do something else by way of generating an income.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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  • 13 years later...

I thought I would add this news item to this very ancient discussion (too bad the pictures earlier in the discussion didn't survive the years!)"

"Tabasco Releases High-End ‘Champagne of Pepper Sauce’ for Its 150th Birthday"

Quote

"This new creation, which is available for purchase only on the company’s website and at its home base on Avery Island, Louisiana, has been dubbed “the Champagne of pepper sauce,” the company said in a release. It’s “made from a selection of the finest tabasco peppers on Avery Island,” according to the company, which “are mashed with a small amount of salt, then aged — some for up to 15 years — and blended with sparkling white wine vinegar.” The end result supposedly “has exceptional complexity, while maintaining the signature flavor and vibrancy for which Tabasco Sauce is celebrated around the world.”

So it sounds like it's going to be "fizzy' Tabasco sauce. :S 

Usually, if my Tabasco sauce is fizzy, I know it's time to toss it and buy a new bottle. xD

 

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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They also have this:

"TABASCO Family Reserve Pepper Sauce, 5 Ounce"

I bought bottles of this for my two brothers at Christmas last year and have yet to hear back from them if it tastes better (or any different) than the regular sauce. ¬¬

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I picked up the Family Reserve a couple of years ago and think it's better. Now that I've done so, however, my other half has decided he doesn't like Tabasco in any incarnation. I may be a long time working my way through that bottle.

 

Interesting about the fizzy white vinegar in the "champagne" version. It might be interesting to try, but if I were taken unawares by it I suspect I'd pitch it too! 

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Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
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"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

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