For seven generations, McIlhenny family continues producing Taba - KLFY News 10

Seven generations of McIlhenny Tabasco


The home of Tabasco is nestled into twenty seven hundred scenic acres on Avery Island, one of Iberia Parish's five salt domes.

The company was started back in the mid-eighteen hundreds by Edmund McIlhenny, as an antidote to the bland spices on most American dinner tables during post Civil War Reconstruction.

Today, the company is headed by McIlhenny's great-great-great grandson, Anthony McIlhenny Simmons, and Simmons son, John, has just joined the company as vice president of agriculture.

"'Proud that our family has been doing this for seven generations, and we're working with families who have been McIlhenny employees for generations." said John Simmons.

And here's where it all begins. In three years, these seeds will become the Tabasco sauce that's in your pantry and on our table, right now.

The seeds are being planted right now inside McIlhenny greenhouses, and from there, they'll be transplanted to fields for the rest of the growing process.

Once the pepper plants are ready for harvest, they're processed in these giant vats, where the seeds and mash are extracted from the liquid sauce and sent to retailers for use in muscle ointments and other non-food products.

Then, the sauce goes into hibernation, spending the next three years in these white oak barrels, purchased from the Jack Daniels Distillery, before they're opened for the final step of processing.

Mcilhenny has turned the Tabasco brand into a true global leader, as the familiar red and green bottles with the diamond label, in twenty two different languages, are shipped to more than 165 nations around the world.

And the brand includes more than the iconic hot pepper sauce, with the unique Tabasco flavor now available in a wide range of products, even ice cream

But here's the question-why does this global brand remain headquartered right here in Iberia Parish?

"Been doing this for a while, proud to be from right here on Avery Island in Iberia Parish." said Simmons.

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