Some like it hot. Some like it spicy? I love it both ways, in fact, the most used condiment in my kitchen fridge is Chipotle Tabasco Sauce. I literally put it on everything, especially my famous homemade weekend breakfasts. When I discovered that Tabasco Sauce is still made at the original factory and location that it started in back in 1868 and that it is only an hour from Lafayette I knew I had to make a visit. It is time to spice up my Lafayette adventures, Tabasco style.
The McIlhenny Co and Tabasco factory are located on Avery Island, which is about a one hour drive South of Lafayette. McIlhenny Co is still family-owned, but you can find Tabasco Sauce in over 180 Countries around the world.
I have a pretty full schedule while I am in Lafayette but where there is a will, there is a way. I squeezed out enough time from my itinerary to drive to Avery Island and back again plus have a bit of shopping time at the Tabasco Gift Store. When I arrived at Avery Island, I had to cross a small Toll Bridge. I paid the $1 toll fee and got my pass to be on the Island.
Avery Island is bigger than I expected it to be. I thought I would drive straight up to the factory and boom start a tour. In fact, Avery Island is where they grow some of the Peppers used to make their famous Tabasco Sauce plus there is a 170 acre Jungle Gardens that you can visit. Live Oaks, semi-tropical plants, and plenty of wildlife all for you to walk through and see. Unfortunately, I don’t have time to enjoy the gardens; I have to get straight to the factory.
I park my car in one of the big lots and head towards the factory. I realize when I get inside though that I am short on time, so I head next door to the Tabasco Country Store. It was a school field trip day so I had to navigate about three bus loads of kids, but I did it!
OMG I’m in hot sauce heaven. If you can think it there is a Tabasco version of it.
I pass by the t-shirts, hats, and kitchen aprons and go straight to the back of the store where I find a Tabasco tasting bar and free samples of Tabasco Ice Cream. Yes, you heard me right, Tabasco Ice Cream.
I tried it all, yes even the ice creams. They were really good, and if I had room in my suitcase, I would have bought some of the mixes. What I did focus on were all the various sauces. I had no idea that they made mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, pickles, Okra, and Bloody Mary Mix, just to name a few.
I tried everything and finally settled on four items to bring home with me. The East Asian Chile Sauce, a Raspberry Chipotle Sauce, Tabasco Family Reserve and my favourite the Chipotle Tabasco. I now have a Tabasco Sauce for any occasion.
I’ve run out of time; I have to be back in Lafayette for another adventure. I’ve already decided that the next time I am in the area I will be adding this to my itinerary. I want a proper factory tour, and I also want to explore the Jungle Gardens. Next time I won’t be so rushed, and perhaps I’ll even enjoy a bowl of Tabasco Ice Cream on their patio.
There is a lot to see and do on Avery Island. The tours are short, just 30 minutes long and are set up for anyone to take. There is a Country Store that sells everything Tabasco. Leave room in your suitcase as there are some cool products you can't find anywhere else. Remember to bring a $1 as the toll bridge to get onto Avery Island costs $1.
Value for $10
Variety of activities8
Would I go back?10