clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Watch a Rare Look Inside the Tabasco Sauce Factory

Tabasco sauce — also know in some parts as "Cajun ketchup" — is apparently one of America's most prolific exports, so CBS's 60 Minutes investigates the story behind the storied condiment. Edmund McIlhenny is credited with inventing Tabasco sauce just after the Civil War, and the McIlhenny family has been making the sauce in Louisiana for five generations, topping off at sales of about $200 million a year.

The McIlhennys keep several family secrets — including the business' exact sales figures and profit margins — and its precious heirloom pepper seeds are safeguarded inside a vault. But according to current CEO Tony Simmons (a fifth-generation member of the McIlhenny clan), the key to working pepper mash, vinegar, and salt into Tabasco sauce is to keep it simple: "We think about our process similar to the way a winemaker would think about his process." Go, watch:

Video: Tabasco: Fighting Bland Food Since 1868

· Tabasco: Fighting Bland Food Since 1868 [CBS News]
· All Hot Sauce Coverage on Eater [-E-]