Tag Archives: Hot Sauce

Food: Tabasco Sauce


Tabasco Sauce is sold in 160 countries around the world. Not bad for a business that's been in the same family now for six generations. Uploaded by indianapublicmedia.org.

This is the third hot sauce to make this list (Texas Pete, April 16, 2009, and Blind Betty’s, February 27, 2010), so you can tell our family likes spicy foods. Apparently, we’re not alone; the McIlhenny Company of Avery Island, Louisiana produces more than 700,000 bottles of the palate pleaser every day.

Uploaded by gba.com.

It’s not unusual for a business to begin as a family enterprise, and this one started from the garden of Edmund McIlhenny after he was given some tabasco pepper seeds from Latin America. He grew the plants, created the sauce, and gave some to family and friends. They loved it. “Got to have more of that famous sauce Mr. McIlhenny makes,” they said. So Edmund ordered some cologne bottles, used them for his product, and started selling to local retail stores.

That was in the late 1860s. What’s remarkable is that the McIlhenny’s never sold out to a bigger firm. Today, Paul McIlhenny is the sixth family member to run the company which still operates on Avery Island. In fact, about half the company’s employees live on the island, and many are the descendants of people who’ve work for the McIlhenny clan for generations. The company has made one major accommodation to changing times — they’ve dodged hurricanes so long that they’ve finally moved some of their growing fields for peppers to Central America. But the seeds are all still grown on Avery Island.

Food: Blind Betty’s Hot Sauce

Blind Betty's comes in Original Recipe, Pineapple Pizzazz, and Blind in the Rind flavors. Uploaded by weddingbeepro.com.

Blind Betty’s is certainly hot enough, but it’s not going to kill brain cells in the process, as some other sauces will. It definitely adds a potent zing, but doesn’t overpower the flavor of food.

St. John Spice in Cruz Bay, St. John. Uploaded by cruzbayrestaurants.com.

We discovered Blind Betty’s where it’s made, on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. On our first visit we stopped in at a great shop right at the ferry dock, called St. John Spice. We wanted to take something from the island home with us, and I remembered that store owner Ruth Ernst had featured Blind Betty’s on her Web site. We purchased the Original Recipe sauce, along with Jalapeno Pepper Jelly and Hot Mango Chutney. We’ve gone through them all, and it’s time to reorder!

In addition to the Original Recipe, the sauce is also available in Blind in the Rind and Pineapple Pizzazz flavors. What’s in the stuff? Ingredients include pumpkin, apple juice, tomato juice, carrot, onion, habanero pepper, soy sauce, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and garlic.

Uploaded by stjohntour.com.

Blind Betty’s was the first-place winner of the Fiery Food Challenge in 2003 and the international Scovie Awards in 2004. A couple of reviews at Hot Sauce World echo what my wife, the main partaker of hot sauces in our household, says about Blind Betty’s. Dave said, “This stuff is too good to tell people about, the price will go up.” And Clark said, “This is the best hot sauce I’ve ever had the pleasure of adding to a meal.”

Here’s a video in which St. John Spice owner Ruth Ernst explains where Blind Betty’s comes from:

Food: Texas Pete

uploaded on Picasa by Sean

uploaded on Picasa by Sean

Here’s an unsettling little secret: Texas Pete is made right here in Winston-Salem, NC. Sure, we have to cross our fingers when calling it “Texas” Pete, but that doesn’t change a very key fact:

It sure does taste good.

Some of you may be saying, “Wait, that stuff is hot. And I don’t like spicy food.” Texas Pete gives you control, so you can add a few drops for a little kick or a whole lot to have a caliente experience.

So, here’s a shout out to the hometown sauce. Let’s call it “Winston-Salem Pete.” Okay, maybe not. That sounds like a bad minor league baseball mascot.

And we already have one of those.