I’m such a Tabasco fan that I’ve been to Avery Island in Louisiana three times. It looks different every time I go, and I love it. It’s where they bottle the stuff that’s been to the moon.
Remember when everybody was sporting Tabasco ties? Now there’s a fancy souvenir shop with goodies to serve your sauce in style and adorn your kitchen. The product line is over the top with sports editions and flavors including the latest, raspberry chipotle. They had to pry me away from the tasting station.
The best part is the factory tour where you get mini bottles as souvenirs, get to see a film that takes you through the process of checking peppers for ripeness with the red stick, or baton rouge, method and a look at the bottling and labeling.
My family drove through the island’s Jungle Gardens, making stops at bamboo, Buddha aviary and botanical scenes. We spotted a baby gator in a mossy swamp and spied birds from a walking trail.
I was sorely tempted to pick a pepper from one of the bushes lining the walkways near the plant entrance. They were covered with chicken wire to protect them from birds (and tourists), so I felt that would be wrong. Then someone pointed out some tiny peppers had fallen to the ground, and it would be a shame if they were wasted. So I ate one.
My husband saw my put that fresh, red, potent pepper in my mouth and I immediately asked if I could kiss him. For some reason he was surprised at how spicy that kiss was and wasn’t pleased at all.
The best I could offer as a remedy was to guide him back to the tasting station where and offer him some Tabasco-flavored ice cream to help him put the fire out.
I think I have finally been forgiven.