Named after the Mexican state of Tabasco, the small pungent chili peppers are
best known for their namesake Tabasco sauce. The tapered fruit mature
from yellowish-green to orange, to bright red. Tabasco peppers are the only
chili peppers that are juicy. Also, unlike other chilies the fruit grow erect,
rather than hang, from their
After the Civil War avid gardener and gourmet, Edmund McIlhenny, was given some pepper seeds. He discovered the peppers had a terrific flavor and decided to make a sauce. Using Avery Island salt, he made a mash he aged, then blended with French white wine vinegar. His sauce was so popular he gave up his job as banker and went into full time production. The family-owned McIlhenny Company continues today to use the same recipe to make their world famous Tabasco Sauce on Avery Island.
1947 Tabasco Sauce Recipe*
36 Tabasco peppers -- or other long hot red peppers
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon salt [plain or canning, not iodinated]
1 teaspoon horseradish
1 cup hot vinegar [white wine vinegar is good]
1 cup water [I prefer distilled]
Add water to the peppers and garlic. Cook in a medium pan until tender,
then press through fine sieve. Add all other ingredients and simmer until blended.
Pour into hot ball jars; seal at once.
The sauce may be thinned - as used - with either vinegar or salad oil.
*From : The Ball Blue Book Vol. X, 1947