“Have A Spicy Day!” reads the receipt from our admission to visit the Tabasco factory, museum and adjacent gardens this past weekend. Shelley gets credit for orchestrating this excursion, and I give it an A-plus! First off, it’s a short drive from Shreveport, under four hours for us anyway, and it’s affordable; we opted for the gardens/factory package deal for $25 bucks for both of us. It was a cold day at Avery Island for exploring among the flora and fauna, but you can drive around the grounds to see most sights. Inside the production facility, it’s toasty warm, and where the mash of cayenne peppers is cooked-up to be aged and brewed into sauce the smell is wonderfully pungent with Tabasco goodness. It’s a self-guided tour too, which suits me and anybody else who appreciates being able to take their time at the exhibits.
Visit the greenhouse
Shelley inside the greenhouse among young cayenne plants
The barrels go on and on, heaped with local salt and aging about three years
Some views of the adjacent gardens
Our bonus was a side-trip to nearby Lafayette (about 24 miles) for a celebratory dinner with Brother and Sis-In-Law Ralph and Lynne from DeLand, Fl., whose wedding anniversary is a week after ours. If you’ve been in this part of the country any length of time, you know there’s no shortage of killer dining in that town either. We’ve lived here close to thirty years now and I’m glad we finally made this visit. No way as exciting as the French Quarter, but if you want to take a walk on the mellow side now and again, check-in to a motel in New Iberia and stop by. Here’s the official site for more info, and keep pourin’ on the hot sauce!