Sometimes it's hard to see the magic of people and places in your own backyard, but the McIlhenny family has managed to keep Tabasco brand hot sauce and products in their family for over 150 years on tiny Avery Island, Louisiana. If you have never been to the actual place where the world famous hot sauce is made, it is definitely worth the trip! It's 2,200 acres of gorgeous greenery and Louisiana wildlife. And then there's the hot sauce...

Once you get onto Avery Island, there are so many things to see and do! Tabasco recently did a multi million dollar renovation to their visitors center, and it now includes a museum, with the history of the McIlhenny family's famous products. You can take a tour of the plant, and see the production of Tabasco sauce from seed to bottling. The gift shop / Tabasco Country Store includes everything from brand merchandise to a tasting bar. I also love the fact that you can purchase every single Tabasco product made there. And that's a lot!

There is also a Tabasco 1868 Restaurant, with authentic Louisiana cuisine made with, you guessed it , Tabasco! And let's don't forget the beautiful Jungle Gardens, where you can take a guided or self guided tour of the lush oaks and bayous. Avery Island is also home to the Bird City wildfowl refuge.

If you are so inclined, you can take one of the specialty tours available. They include a Culinary Tour, Tabasco Private tour, or even a Cooking Class with lunch included.

I also found some cool trivia that you might not know about one of Louisiana's favorite local products:

  • Tabasco has a long shelf life - up to five years!
  • Tabasco has been stocked on American space shuttles for astronauts to enjoy
  • All seven Tabasco hot sauce flavors are gluten free and kosher approved
  • Tabasco is available in 185 countries, and the island of Guam uses the most hot sauce per capita of anyone
  • There are only three ingredients that go into making Tabasco Sauce - salt from Avery Island, aged red peppers, and vinegar. The recipe has pretty much remained the same since it was invented in 1868

Check out a couple of videos that will make you want to plan out your trip to Avery Island today, sha! Even though they don't talk with Louisiana accents, we are going to make them 'Honorary Cajuns' for their love of our culture!