Pepper sauce is a ubiquitous condiment across south Louisiana. In 1870, a new brand was patented: Tabasco.
In 1869, Edmund McIlhenny’s pepper sauce was available at the W.H. Henning grocery in New Orleans. The next year, the condiment was christened Tabasco sauce and was sold by numerous local retailers.
The hot sauce soon became popular across the Gulf Coast, and reportedly was “used very extensively at public places as well as in families.”
The spicy mixture is made of red peppers and salt from Avery Island, near New Iberia in southwest Louisiana.
In 1931, the McIlhenny company declared all other pepper sauces imitations.
The McIlhenny family still makes the sauce in much the same way, and the Tabasco name has become famous around the world. Competitors, including Crystal and Louisiana brand sauce, have also made their way onto dinner tables and into recipes.
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