Tabasco is, for many, as staple a condiment as ketchup or mayonnaise. Thanks to its many fans, the spicy add-on has been a popular one for over 100 years.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the iconic sauce.
Number 10. It has a long shelf life. Up to 5 years, in fact, provided it hasn't been opened. For the best long-term results, it's advised that it be stored in a cool place. Also suggested is keeping an eye on light and temperature levels as both can cause the color to change.
Number 9. There's a special message on the bottom of the bottle. Those little printed numbers let people know which glass mold was used in the making of their Tabasco vessel.
Number 8. Simplicity is key. Tabasco is made from only 3 ingredients: salt from Avery Island, aged red peppers, and vinegar. The recipe has remained essentially the same since it was created. That happened all the way back in 1868.
Number 7. A Tabasco bottle from the 19th century still exists today.
Number 6. It's aged like a fine wine. The pepper mash used to make Tabasco spends up to three years maturing in white oak barrels. Before it can go on to become a delicious condiment it's inspected by a member of the McIlhenny family.
Number 5. It's good to the last drop. If you're keeping count, it will be be about the 720th one, as that's roughly how many each 2 ounce bottle of Original Red contains.
Number 4. It's popular in space. After astronauts have been out there for a while their sense of smell starts to fade. As a result, their enjoyment of many foods diminishes, but spicy ones are among the exceptions. To make sure that the crew is kept full and happy, missions are often stocked with Tabasco.
Number 3. The hot sauce meets some pretty steep dietary demands. People looking for gluten free and Kosher foods typically find themselves with limited, often uninspiring options. It's Tabasco to the rescue, as all 7 varieties are without gluten and approved for Kosher cooking.
Number 2. Guam uses the most of it. Of the 165 countries and territories where Tabasco is available, the greatest per capita consumption is on the small, western Pacific island. People there enjoy a yearly average of 4 ounces per person.
Number 1. It's not just for savory foods. Tabasco gives sweets a little extra oomph as well. Dessert dishes that can benefit greatly from a splash or two include brownies, chocolate cakes, and, believe it or not, lemon ice cream.
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