According to its website, Tabasco Sauce has been produced since 1868 in Louisiana and is in its fifth generation as a family business. All shareholders inherited their stock or were given it by a living member of the McIlhenny family. Tabasco Sauce is made from tabasco peppers (Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco), vinegar and salt.
|Capsicum frutescens var. tabasco – Photo by chilifoorumi.fi|
The peppers are mashed the same day they are picked and placed in white oak barrels to age for up to three years. Once the barrels are closed, a thick layer of salt is spread on top, creating an air-tight seal. This keeps out oxygen and allows fermentation gases to escape. The barrels are stacked to the ceilings in the Louisiana warehouses. They are kept there for up to three years until they have fully aged. A member of the McIlhenny family personally inspects each barrel of pepper mash and deems the aging process complete. The fully aged mash is then cleaned, drained and mixed with high quality, distilled, vinegar for up to 28 days in 1,800-gallon vats. The resulting sauce is sent to the plant’s floor to be bottled and distributed to over 160 countries and territories around the world.
|Photo courtesy of brewer_doug|