Meanwhile, I spent a relaxing weekend writing in the town that James Lee Burke calls home in New Iberia, Louisiana (well, at least part of the time), and it was here that I managed to make some headway with two short stories and the new e-zine, Beat to a Pulp.
For an afternoon distraction, my wife mentioned going to Avery Island where Tabasco is made.
It was a nice tour. A guide gave a brief speech, showed us to a room where we watched a ten minute video, then we walked past the manufacturing lines and into a small exhibit space. We learned a lot about how peppers become the infamous hot sauce.
50 acres of Avery Island are dedicated to growing peppers. The best are selected for their seeds, which are shipped to Central and South America where the majority of the peppers for the sauce are grown.
The peppers are picked and immediately processed with salt mined from Avery Island.
The salted peppers are shipped back to Avery Island to be mashed and stored in oak barrels for three years. (These barrels come from the Jack Daniels company who use the barrels for only one year in making their whiskey. The Tabasco company uses the barrels for 21-23 years, at which point, they're broken up and sold as BBQ wood chips, flavored with whiskey and Tabasco!)
Once the pepper mash is done, it's mixed with distilled vinegar and stirred for 23 days. Only then is it ready for bottling.
The process is actually more detailed than that. If you're interested, the Tabasco website has a great video.
The iconic diamond label showing how to get there.
The main building where tours begin.
Unfortunately the manufacturing lines weren't running on Saturday.
The country store and gift shop.
Browsing the goods. Got some spicy dark chocolate and hot cinnamon mints.
Little d braves the 'wind chill.'
For other My Town Mondays, drop by Travis Erwin's site...