With our New Orleans beads around our neck and our breasts staying under our clothes, we headed off to our next checkpoint. We were staying in Louisiana but it was time to spice it up a little. A short drive later and we were at Avery Island. It is the home and birthplace of possibly one of the finest things in life…. Tabasco Sauce – seen on tables all over the world.
We paid our $1 to get onto the island (which isn’t really an island) and headed to Tabasco land. One family, the McIlhennys, owns the whole island. They also created and run the Tabasco brand. On the island they have a few things that you can do, such as a jungle garden, but as it was only a quick stop off, we only had time for the Tabasco.
When we got closer to the factory, you could really smell it in the air. Not enough to singe your nose hair, but you could definitely tell it was Tabasco. We parked up and as the next free tour didn’t start for another 15 minutes, we decided to visit the Tabasco Country Store that was next door.
You name it and they had it, but with a Tabasco logo on it. Golf Tees…Check. Clocks…Check. Door stops…Check. Shot glasses…Check. For such a small shop, they held quite an inventory! The right side of the shop was just filled with shelves full of different sauces – all with a twist of Tabasco in it. The rear of the shop was my favourite though. It housed the tasting area. There were so many different products lined up – even Tabasco flavoured ice-cream or soda! It was all too much for my mouth as I’m not a great fan of too much spice but we walked away with a few full size bottles. We wanted to save them for home so we also bought a few mini ones for the journey.
The tour consisted of a small video on how Tabasco came around and a walk along the side of the bottling plant. This is the only place in the world that Tabasco is made and the bottles were being filled up like there was no tomorrow. As we finished the tour we were handed some free samples – 8 mini bottles! We do love the tours with the free goodies. At the Jelly Belly factory they gave us bags of beans, Ben & Jerry’s gave us ice cream, Coca-Cola gave us some bottles of coke and now this. I think that’s something for the Jack Daniels distillery tour to think about, as you had to buy the samples there!