Breaux Bridge and Tabasco

It was about 145 miles to Breaux Bridge, LA, which is just about perfect. The RV park is rustic, but it seems to be OK for what we want, and the wifi works. Since we didn’t have to drive too far today, we felt like seeing some of the sights right away.

First up was the Tabasco tour. Avery Island, which isn’t really an island, is about 30 miles from our RV park. The buildings look stately in an old-fashioned way. 
In the first one is a history of the family that created this product. Back in 1866 Edmund McIhenny couldn’t get seasoning for his dinner in a restaurant, and decided to do something about it. There are conflicting stories about the origin of the peppers, but the one thing all versions agree on is that they came from Mexico. Nowadays there are new sauce varieties that use other peppers, but basic Tabasco sauce has always and only been created from descendants of those original peppers. 

The gist of the process is that they squeeze the peppers to create a mash and put it into barrels, which are sealed and covered with a thick layer of salt.
And then the barrels are stacked and stored for up to 3 years. 
After the mash is fully aged they strain it and sell the skins and seeds to be used in other products. The strained mash is mixed with vinegar and salt for another 2-3 weeks. As another proprietary touch, the salt is mined on Avery Island. 

In the old days, workers usually lived near the factory, and a community grew up around the business. The story is that the workers' village had a popular dance hall where dance of choice was the Tango. Eventually the community got the name of Tango.

Since today was Saturday afternoon, the bottle line was not running, so we passed that quiet room and went into the area filled with Tabasco stuff. Here's Randy, admiring true Art. 
We had a quick lunch at the on-site cafe, right before they closed for the day. Randy's rice and beans and my chili dog were both good, and this place had the best fountain soda we've had in a long time. 

Next we went to Konriko's General Store, about 10 miles away. They give tours, too, but we missed the last one today. So we bought a beautiful platter, a few Konricko items (it’s one of Randy’s favorite products), and went back home for the night. Hot dogs for dinner tonight!

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