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What Is Tabasco Sauce? (All you need to know) 2022 UPDATE

If you want to learn more about this staple of hot sauces, you’ve come to the right place. One of my all-time favorite sauces is the Tabasco Original Red Sauce and I’ve decided to put a spotlight on its history, manufacturing and other burning questions that a hot sauce aficionado would have about Tabasco sauce.

Let’s dive right into it…

What is Tabasco sauce?

If you’ve come this far in your life without getting to know the world-famous Tabasco Sauce, you’re in for a treat. The, now ubiquitous pepper sauce has had a long history before conquering tables across the Globe.

Simply put, Tabasco sauce is a brand of hot sauce made of tabasco peppers (from Mexico) on Avery Island, Louisiana for more than 150 years. It has three simple ingredients that include, peppers, vinegar, and salt. It is arguably the most famous hot sauce in the world that is sold in almost every country in the world.

Where is Tabasco sauce made?

Tabasco sauce was and is being made on Avery Island, Louisiana. The company is to this day, still family-owned and operated on that very same island.

Avery Island (French: Île Petite Anse) is a salt dome located in Iberia Parish, Louisiana, United States, it is approximately three miles (4.8 km) inland from Vermilion Bay, which in turn opens onto the Gulf of Mexico. It has a small human population on the island.

How is Tabasco sauce made?

The process of making the world-famous Tabasco sauce would inherently start with tabasco peppers which start out green and ripen to orange and then red. These peppers are native to the Mexican state of Tabasco.

The McIlhenny Company still follows the 150-year-old recipe. The process by which it’s made and the ingredients also remained virtually unchanged. The same three ingredients include tabasco peppers, aged high-quality distilled vinegar, and salt.

The complex flavor that makes Tabasco sauce unique is the lengthy aging process that happens in white oak barrels. Pepper mash is aged in these barrels for up to three years before it’s blended with high-quality distilled vinegar for 28 days, strained, and bottled.

Most of the barrels are typically used 15-20 times on average, which is about 35-40 years. But there are a few barrels in the barrel warehouse that are nearly 80-90 years old!

Tabasco sauce is labeled in 36 languages and dialects, sold in over 195 countries and territories, added to soldiers’ rations, and can be found on restaurant tables around the globe, including the Air Force One. TABASCO® Brand is the most famous pepper sauce in the world.

Who invented the Tabasco sauce?

Tabasco sauce is made by Edmund McIlhenny’s “McIlhenny Company” which was founded in 1868. There are conflicting reports as to who was the actual inventor of the sauce.

The company legend attributes the invention of the sauce to McIlhenny, but the plantation owner Maunsel White is believed to have been the first to cultivate and make a sauce from Tabasco peppers in the United States and gave the recipe and pepper pods to his friend McIlhenny.

What does the word “tabasco” mean?

The word “tabasco” is a Mexican Indian word that is believed to mean “place where the soil is humid” or “place of the coral or oyster shell.”

Is Tabasco sauce acidic?

Tabasco sauce is slightly acidic. The main ingredient that gives Tabasco sauce acidity is vinegar. The other two ingredients are tabasco peppers and salt.

pH is measured on “The pH Scale,” which has been used for over a century and uses a 15 point scale, ranging from 0 to 14. Items with a pH score at or close to 0 are highly acidic. Items with a pH score at or close to 14 are considered alkaline, or basic. Items with a pH score of 7 are considered neutral.

What is the pH of Tabasco sauce?

Although there’s no official report on Tabasco pH level, hot sauces in general have a low pH of less than 5. We already know that food items with a pH level of 7 are neutral.

How many Scoville is in Tabasco sauce?

The original Tabasco sauce has a Scoville rating of 2,500-5,000. But there are more kinds of Tabasco sauce. Let’s see their ratings from hottest to mildest:

  1. Scorpion 35,000
  2. Habanero >7,000
  3. Original Red 2,500-5,000
  4. Sriracha 1000-3000
  5. Chipotle 1,500-2,500
  6. Cayenne Garlic 1,200-2,400
  7. Green Jalapeno 600-1,200
  8. Buffalo 300-900
  9. Sweet & Spicy 100-300

Is Tabasco sauce bad for acid reflux?

There seems to be a general consensus that too much hot sauce, including Tabasco, is certainly not good for acid reflux or GERD. Spicy foods in general, including curry, salsa, chili, and hot sauce aggravate GERD symptoms.

Is too much Tabasco sauce bad for you?

Tabasco sauce is quite healthy if consumed in moderation, as it contains large amounts of vitamin A and C and capsaicin, a chemical compound found in chili peppers that messes with the nerve endings on your skin and is connected to lowering levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

Capsaicin has shown antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects in lab studies.

Is Tabasco sauce the same as hot sauce?

Tabasco sauce by definition is a hot sauce but it is also a brand name of one type of hot sauce made of tabasco peppers. Another example from the soda industry would be Pepsi which is a brand name for a type of soda.

Is Tabasco sauce vegan?

The original Tabasco sauce and other main Tabasco sauces from the company are vegan. Tabasco sauce is produced using just three ingredients: distilled vinegar, tabasco peppers and salt, all of which are vegan friendly.

Is Tabasco sauce GMO?

It is not GMO because it’s made from ingredients that have not been genetically modified.

Is Tabasco sauce kosher?

Tabasco is kosher as it complies with the requirements of Jewish Dietary Laws and are Kosher-Pareve.

Is Tabasco sauce halal?

Tabasco sauce is indeed halal and is produced under the supervision of the Islamic Food and Nutrition Council of America (IFANCA®).

Is Tabasco sauce keto friendly?

Tabasco sauce is keto-friendly as the number of carbs it contains and the amount of sauce you put on your food is negligent.

Is Tabasco sauce gluten-free?

Tabasco sauce is gluten-free or is considered gluten-free according to the definitions set forth by the FDA.

In August 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a final rule that defined what characteristics a food has to have to bear a “gluten-free” claim. The rule also holds foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten” to the same standard. The regulation defines “gluten-free” as meaning that the food either is inherently gluten-free; or does not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat); 2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or 3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch) if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food.

Is Tabasco sauce fermented?

It is fermented as in the pepper mash for the hot sauce is decomposed by healthy bacteria and enzymes. Many super-popular staple hot sauces are fermented.

Is Tabasco sauce bad for dogs?

Some people use Tabasco sauce as a deterrent from licking unwanted surfaces. To their surprise, some of the dogs don’t even flinch when licking the red stuff and others even like it, but giving your dog Tabasco sauce regularly (who would even do that??) is not recommended.

Can Tabasco sauce burn your skin?

Well, I’ve tried putting some Tabasco sauce on my skin and I didn’t feel it burning. The only skin it burns are the lips, but that is obviously a different story. Seasoned hot sauce aficionados know that you shouldn’t touch your lips when eating hot food anyway.

Can Tabasco sauce go bad?

Tabasco sauce has a really long shelf life – opened or unopened. The original Tabasco Red Sauce has a shelf life of 5 years. For most people, a small bottle of Tabasco sauce will last a couple of weeks at most because it’s consumed rather quickly. If that’s the case for you, maybe you should start buying Tabasco sauce in gallons. A gallon of Tabasco sauce is available for only $49.99!

Does tabasco sauce need to be refrigerated?

Tabasco sauce can sit on a shelf for 5 years (probably even longer). Once it’s opened, it should be stored in the fridge just like any other hot sauce, or sauce in general.

Where does the Tabasco pepper grow?

These vibrant red peppers originate from Mexico where they are grown. Apart from Mexico, tabasco peppers are also grown mostly in the Gulf Coast states. They range in heat from 30,000 to 50,000 Scoville Heat Units on the Scoville Scale.

Is Tabasco sauce healthy (is it good for you)?

Tabasco sauce can actually be good for you (if you’re not chugging bottles at a time). This world-famous sauce is low in sodium, fat, and carbs. It has loads of capsaicin that has a reputation of having several health benefits including the ability to kill cancer cells and to help with weight loss. Capsaicin may also help to regulate insulin levels after a meal, which may aid in diabetes prevention.

In one study, subjects who had hot sauce with an appetizer consumed about 200 fewer calories when the main course came around, compared to subjects who didn’t have any capsaicin.

Is there just one Tabasco sauce?

There’s not just one but 12 different Tabasco sauces on the market, according to Food & Wine magazine. They include:

  1. Original Red Sauce
  2. Family Reserve
  3. Cayenne Garlic Sauce
  4. Chipotle Pepper Sauce
  5. Roasted Pepper
  6. Green Jalapeno Pepper
  7. Sweet and Spicy
  8. Habanero Pepper Sauce
  9. Sriracha Sauce
  10. Buffalo Style Hot Sauce
  11. Scorpion Sauce
  12. Raspberry Chipotle

Can you make your own tabasco sauce?

If all of the above flavors of Tabasco sauce are not enough for you, you can always try and make your own sauce. What you’ll need is tabasco peppers, cayenne peppers, salt, vinegar, & time.


  1. A batch of garden-grown hot peppers (Tabasco preferred)
  2. 2-3% salt by weight
  3. White wine vinegar to taste
  4. Hooch from a natural yeast starter