Saturday, February 5, 2011

Growing Up With Tabasco, a South Louisiana Tradition

This post brought to you by TABASCO® Original Red. All opinions are 100% mine.

Growing up in South Louisiana, food was a huge part of life. I don't think I can really describe just how important food is in cajun culture. When there's a celebration, there's a feast. When someone dies, there's a feast. Marriage, graduation, new baby? You guessed it... somebody was going to cook, and you could just about bet that there would be TABASCO® Original Red sauce on the table.

I never thought about it- Tabasco was just always there. It was introduced by the McIlhennys in 1868, and every school kid in my area would take a fieldtrip to Avery Island to see where it was made. That was the highlight of my year. Avery Island has 250 acres of Jungle Gardens with the most beautiful scenery around. Plus, we'd get to tour the factory and see how that special red sauce was made and aged in big wooden barrels made from the local White Oak trees. Then we got to go to the gift shop, and I got to buy myself a souvenir of the trip!

I was so excited. I bought my dad a little bottle of Tabasco Original Red (heck, it was the ONLY flavor at the time!) and then with what little money left over, I bought self a can of cow moos. It was a little cardboard can that would make a moo sound when you turned it over. I was so excited... I would flip the little can over and over on the bus back home. But as kids do, I somehow lost it before I even got home. It's ok, though... my bottle of Tabasco made it home with me!

Dad was thrilled. He always ate Tabasco on his scrambled eggs. There's something about it that enhances the flavor of foods. It's more than just heat. Somehow, that simple mix of salt, vinegar and red pepper bring out the subtle complexity of food's flavors. It's a requirement for Louisiana meals!

Tabasco was a way of life, come to think of it. My husband's best friend ate so much Tabasco that we joked he was addicted to it. It wasn't just hot sauce that he loved... no, it had to be McIlhenney's Tabasco Original Red. He put it on absolutely everything: white beans, jambalaya, stew, soups... he even put it on his pizza!

So, with Super Bowl Sunday coming up, I thought I'd share an idea with you. What goes better with football than pizza? Let me tell you, I thought my husband's friend was crazy for putting Tabasco on pizza, but it really does do something special to the flavor. It's like it unlocks all those subtle little bits of goodness that you wouldn't notice otherwise and brings a whole new level of yummy to the party! You can put it on delivery pizza or add it to your own homemade pie, but try it. You might be surprised at just how tasty it is!

For ideas on how to jazz up your Super Bowl pizza, why not check out the Game-Day Party Menu at There's even a special section dedicated to Pizza Perfected. Share a little taste of Louisiana with your friends and kick up the flavor. You'll be glad you did!



I miss my moo can.
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