Established in 1906, Tabasco sauce has emerged as one of the world’s favourite condiments – but did you know that every last drop of the spicy stuff is produced on an American private island?
It’s a little known fact that Avery Island, located in the US-State of Louisiana, it the hottest private island of them all. Not due to its weather, however – although, located in the heart of America’s Deep South region, we’re willing to bet that that’s not too shabby either – but rather because of what’s produced there…
That’s right – tucked away with the Mississippi Delta region, just 250 kilometres away from New Orleans, lies the 250 acre Avery Island – a sprawling private island which just happens to form home to one of the world’s most famous spicy sauces – a popular pepper based condiment that goes by the name of Tabasco Sauce.
Originally formed by a so-called salt dome, Avery Island once served as a salt mine as far back as the 17th century, before making its way into the possession of the Avery-McIlhenny family (still the island’s owners to the present day) back in 1830s, where it was used as a vibrant bird sanctuary – a popular breeding colony for the thousands of rare, snowy egrets.
Despite still forming home to thousands of these rare birds, however, the island is undoubtedly more famous for its pungent pepper sauce than its avian inhabitants. Indeed, a staggering 70,000 bottles of Tabasco are produced every day in order to keep up with the vociferous global demand for the iconic spicy sauce.
Yet despite producing an estimated 2,000 gallons of the hot stuff on a daily basis, Private Island News was surprised to discover that only a tiny twenty acre patch of land is reserved for the growth of the extra-hot peppers that give the brand its name (capsicum frutescens variety tabasco – just in case the chili-heads amongst you were wondering).
The pepper plants produced on the island itself never make it into the sauce itself, however, and are in fact only grown solely for their seeds, which are subsequently extracted and dispatched in their thousands to farmers across Latin America and Africa, who then transform them into millions of dollars’ worth of pristine Tabasco peppers.
After being mixed with salt and ground up into a mash, the pungent peppers then make their way back to Avery Island, where they are then stored in solid oak casks and left to mature for a grand total of three years, until the sauce is finally ready to be shipped to stores spread across an impressive 166 countries worldwide.
Estimated to generate revenues close to USD 200 million, Avery Island and its incredible factory forms perhaps the world’s most valuable private island in this sense and could yet prove to be an inspiration for another spicy sauce brand – Sriracha – whose owner was recently forced to shut down operations at his California-based factory after overpowering odours were emitted into the nearby neighbourhood.
If you ask us, a private island could be the perfect solution for company’s woes, and, with islands available to buy from as little as USD 100,000, CEO David Tran would only need to sell approximately 580,000 bottles of his famous rooster sauce to recuperate the cost of relocation. David – if you’re reading: don’t forget to send us a sample or two when you make the big move…