Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Hot Stuff!

Rusty at the Tabasco Factory

Monday we drove to Avery Island to tour the Tabasco Factory.
Smelled good, and interesting too. We were surprised to learn that
all the peppers are picked by hand, even today. Then the peppers are
ground into a mash and put into oak barrels to ferment and
age to perfection for THREE YEARS! A thick layer of salt is spread
on the top of each closed barrel, to aid in the fermentation process.

Actually Avery Island is actually a huge salt deposit that is estimated
to be as deep as Mt. Everest is high...that's a lotta salt! In fact,
we sat at least 70 railroad cars go by, loaded with salt from the still
active mines.

Did you know Tabasco used to make canned okra and shrimp too?

Then we went to the Tabasco store and bought some funs stuff, including
the very latest "sweet hot" Tabasco. Yummy!

Never did figure out what this fiery fish was about...

On to Bird Jungle where the "Tabasco family" used to live.
Mr. McIlhenny built a fabulous garden with plants from all over the world,
but his claim to fame was the establishment of a nesting ground for the egret,
which was virtually extinct in North America at that time. The egrets had
been pillaged and plundered for their PLUMES to the point of no return.
But thanks to his care and efforts, now you can see the graceful white birds
nesting by the thousands.

The rest of the grounds were like a trip back in time.
A walk through the past on Avery Island.